Jacksonville business raided for illegal gambling

Jacksonville business raided for illegal gambling

CHEROKEE COUNTY (KYTX) - The owner of a Jacksonville store is in jail, charged with keeping a gambling operation, and could face jail time.

That's after police found electronic game machines inside that business.

Investigators at Jacksonville Police Department say it started when a former employee got into a fight with the owner of the store.

They called police and told them about the alleged gambling operation.

Some electronic gaming machines are legal in Texas, but not the ones that pay out money.

Police say this afternoon the machines and money were hauled away.

"Doesn't surprise me that's going on, this individual, yeah," says Teresa Hennessey, a long-time Jacksonville resident.

Hennessey has been inside the DC Wholesale Supply Company frequently since it was a plumbing company years ago, but not in the past six months.

"I hadn't seen the machines," says Hennessey.

But Jacksonville police have.

They found more than 10 video poker, keno and slot machines wired up in 3 different places Thursday.

Officers got a search warrant, cut locks and removed the machines Friday at the building in the 1200 block of West Rusk Street.

Officer Steven Markasky says the owner, Saaed Shahzed Oehem, was keeping an illegal gambling operation inside the convenience store.

"Came up and let him know, I won this much and he would pay out that much. He had a $500 limit," says Officer Markasky.

You can see how this room is wired up, there are outlets to accommodate at least 9 machines. And the owner kept these locks on them to control the money.

"What we did today is show all the business owners that have any type of machines going or have any question being legal or illegal, we're not going to stand for it," says Officer Markasky.

Plenty of gaming machines are legal, but police say they're keeping a close eye out for the illegal ones.

"I don't play them personally, because I don't know," says Hennessey.

The owner may face more charges, he was living inside the building and police believe it's not zoned as a residential area.

They say there may be some other things they find in the investigation.

The charge, keeping a gambling place, is a Class A Misdemeanor.

Oehme could face up to a year in jail.

Again, there are some gaming machines that are legal, they can only be played for amusement, but no cash can be won or given back.


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