Illegal gambling sting shuts down eight establishments - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Illegal gambling sting shuts down eight establishments

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Joseph Lefcourt  (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Joseph Lefcourt (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Rider Alexander (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Rider Alexander (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Raymond Reames (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Raymond Reames (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Harjit Singh (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Harjit Singh (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Christa Horsley (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Christa Horsley (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
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By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

HAMILTON, GA (WTVM) - At noon on Friday, area law enforcement took down eight illegal gambling operations in a simultaneous raid in Harris County.

Deputies and investigators from Harris and Muscogee Counties, plus the METRO Narcotics Task Force went in and shut down several gas stations and a pool halls.  They seized about 60 gambling machines and $60,000.

Sheriff Mike Jolley says, over the last couple of months, several citizens have come forward and complained that "while they are inside doing shopping or buying gas or paying for it they have witnessed people being paid out or sitting in front of the machines where cash was being transferred."

The Sheriff says METRO was asked to assist in the investigation because Harris County does not have the manpower. Undercover agents spent the last few weeks playing the machines at the different establishments and receiving cash.   Lt. Charlie Kennedy of the METRO Narcotics Task Force said, "Gambling the state of Georgia creates all kinds of problems.  People get to the point where they spend their money on it and take away from their family. The biggest thing is that it is illegal."

Sheriff Jolley said he has already talked to Commissioners about implementing an ordinance on gambling.  "This type of operation is not going to be condoned in Harris County. I believe [the commissioners] are going to do that especially when they see that it is rampant."

So far in the case, Christa Horsley, Joseph Lefcourt, Alexander (Billy) Rider, Harjit Singh, Raymond Reames, and Michael Sutherland  have been arrested and charged with illegal gambling.

They are being held in the Harris County Jail. Officials say more arrests are expected.


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