Search warrants executed in Crisp County over gambling violations
Eight search warrants have been served over alleged violation of Georgia's commercial gambling laws in Crisp County.
Officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation say that six businesses and two residences were searched, including:
- HK Food 21 LLC, 2002 U.S. Hwy 41 N. in Cordele
- W&W Food Mart (BP), 2009 E. 16th Ave. in Cordele
- Watson’s Food Store (Shell), 2105 E. 16th Ave. in Cordele
- Mitchell’s Bait and Tackle, 902 W. 16th Ave. in Cordele
- S&P Lotto a/k/a Chris Lotto, 1217 E. 16th Ave. in Cordele
- Red Dawg Sports Bar, 908 E. 16th Ave. in Cordele
Officials say that agents collected evidence related to crimes of commercial gambling and seized monetary assets gained from the illegal use of gaming machines.
The locations are currently licensed to operate Coin Operated Amusement Machines according to the GBI. However, during the course of the investigation, agents say they discovered customers were receiving cash payouts for winning credits. In Georgia, credits may only be redeemed for lottery tickets and/or store merchandise.
No charges have been announced at this time, but multiple arrests are pending.
According to GBI special agent in charge Cindy Ledford, these types of crimes can hit hard to home and ruin someone's life.
"We have a family member that has come and they've spent all of their money in these machines. You know, they're spending thousands of dollars, they're not able to pay their rent, their not able to buy groceries for you know their families, their kids so we get those tips from family members of those who are spending their entire pay checks in here on these machines," said Ledford.
According to the GBI, all eight locations have been shut down Tuesday evening and the court system will decide on each individual case.