GAMBLING MACHINES DESTROYED IN JEFFERSON COUNTY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
GAMBLING MACHINES DESTROYED IN JEFFERSON COUNTY: Jefferson County, Arkansas – April 17, 2019 – Jefferson County's Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. wants those who want to make a living gambling to know if they are caught, they will be arrested and their machines confiscated.
On Tuesday, with the aid of personnel from the Jefferson County Road Department, heavy machine operators utilized heavy equipment to crush slot machines. Over 400 slot machines were confiscated following the 2013 execution of search warrants at 15 different illegal gambling establishments in Jefferson County as part of “Operation Lucky 7’s”, according to Sheriff Woods.
Operation Lucky 7’s also resulted in the seizure of nearly $500,000.00 in cash. The operation was led by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of 167 state, local, and federal law enforcement officers across the State of Arkansas. At least 24 owners and/or operators were arrested on probable cause for violation of Arkansas Code Annotated A.C.A. § 5-66-103 (Operating a Gambling House), a Class D Felony which carries a penalty of up to 6 years in prison if convicted.
"This is the third time in my law enforcement career that our agency has conducted joint illegal gaming enforcement operations, but never of this magnitude," Woods said. "These machines are set up to take advantage of people and the clean-up and enforcement efforts by our deputies and investigators is labor intensive."
Woods said they are not a game of chance, but a game of profit. He said that law enforcement officers see addictions in gambling just like any other vice.
"Tips routinely come into our office about these illegal gaming operations, which often lead to the seizure of these machines that cost our agency thousands of dollars to store until there is a disposition in the case order of destruction by the courts. To date, we have spent $22,400.00 in storage," he said.
By seeing these gambling machine destroyed, officials at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office are hopeful that people will think twice before becoming involved with illegal gambling.