GBI agent John Bankhead confirms that the GBI shut down an Internet café and illegal gambling location in Columbus.
The owner of Big Dawg Calling Cards in Columbus, James Edward Kokott, was indicted for racketeering in DeKalb County. Along with illegal Internet sweepstakes cafes in the Atlanta area, Kokott operated Big Dawg on Manchester Expressway in Columbus. James and Marilyn Clemmons were also indicted in the same case for helping Kokott opening and operating seven stores in Georgia.
The indictment says they were involved in commercial gambling, acts of gambling and bank records fraud. The indictment says that "although the illegal gambling is promoted as a 'sweepstakes,' the activities do not fall within the sweepstakes exception."
Bankhead confirms that Kokott turned himself in to authorities around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rockdale County.
Forty-three GBI agents were involved in the operation. The Columbus Police Department assisted the GBI.
This operation was a part of Governor Nathan Deal's direction to GBI agents to start looking in to these illegal gambling shops.