Wood County authorities said a perfectly-timed sting operation took down three illegal gambling sites at the same time.
Late Thursday night, undercover agents and deputies raided gambling operations on Highway 154, Highway 17 and FM 515 . The simple-looking buildings on the outside concealed gambling operations that Wood County Sheriff's deputies had been investigating for a year.
"We'd been working on this for several months. We had people go in and they were paying out in cash money; it is illegal gambling," said Wood county sheriff Bill Wansley.
At exactly 9:55, just before closing time last night, three teams went into action at all three locations.
"We had three teams last night; there was at least four to each team, and we planned this so we could hit them right before closing time," Wansley said.
For the teams, there were some risky moments.
"The business over on 154, the lady had a gun; you run into all kind of things. You have to be careful," he said.
At one location, suspects locked the doors and forced the team to smash their way in.
The location off of Highway 17 had to be seen to be believed. It personified what the teams were looking for: a Las Vegas-style set-up where lots of money was changing hands. 112 eight-liners were seized, along with all property, including security cameras, electronics and large amounts of cash.
"They set up shop and make a fast buck," added Wansley.
Wansley had one more message for those who were raided.
"I told these folks last night, you set back up and we'll be back," he said.
Everything from each location was confiscated for evidence. Wansley said no one was injured during the raids and that more arrests are expected.
Wednesday, October 31 2012 1:00 PM EDT2012-10-31 17:00:05 GMT
A group of protestors against the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline are voicing their opposition to the project in East Texas – this time with a presidential candidate. Green Party Presidential CandidateMore >>
Green Party Presidential Candidate, Dr. Jill Stein has been arrested by deputies in Wood County and taken to the Wood County Jail after joining in the Tar Sands Blockade protest this morning.More >>