Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse and his Deputies last night raided a game room, charged four people with engaging in organized crime, arrested three others, and, in a new twist, discovered evidence of a recently-active methamphetamine lab.
“It has been more than a decade since we have seen any hint of a laboratory cooking meth,” Hillhouse said. “This is just the kind of activity these illegal gambling establishments bring to our community, and I am determined to shut them down.”
The Double Down Game Room on County Road 2803 near Eustace was hit at 7 p.m. by Hilhouse and his team along with the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, Henderson County Fire Marshall’s Office, Athens Police Department and Precinct Constable #5 Brad Miers.
The Sheriff said 44 gambling machines and more than $9,000 in cash were seized. A total of 11 patrons were also cited for gambling.
“Recently, actual methamphetamine production has moved to Mexico,” Hillhouse said. “To find the chemicals and machinery to create the drugs in place here makes us ever more vigilant in our campaign against these game rooms.”
Since October of last year, Hillhouse and his Deputies have raided and shut down six game rooms, charging more than 25 people with various crimes including organized crime, seized hundreds of machines and confiscated hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
“Operations like the one last night have a chilling effect on these criminals,” he said. “We are not just closing one business. We’re warning others that they are not welcomed here.”
Charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, keeping a gambling place, gambling promotion, possession of gambling paraphernalia and possession of a gambling device were: Bricky Brewer, 50; Gayla Stanley, 56; Brandon Truitt, 34, and David Maddox, 38, who was also charged with public intoxication.
Robert Davis, 39, was arrested for four outstanding warrants for evading arrest and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Dallas County and burglary of a building and theft in Van Zandt County. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. Savannah George, 29, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and Otis Walker, 41, was arrested for an outstanding arrest warrant for failure to pay child support.
Two stolen vehicles were also found on the property.
The probable cause warrant was signed by 392nd District Judge Scott McKee.
“These game rooms make their owners fortunes, prey on vulnerable people and attract drugs, drug dealers and other criminals,” Hillhouse said. “Our investigations take time, must be perfectly executed and require the cooperation of other enforcement agencies. But we are making a difference and running these businesses out of this County.”