Thirteen arrested in Fitzgerald gambling bust - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thirteen arrested in Fitzgerald gambling bust

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –Thirteen people were arrested following a massive raid at what appeared to be a Fitzgerald game room.

Police say they discovered all sorts of illegal activities at the business including illegal card playing, gambling and drugs.

Robert Schofield says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Friday afternoon he was making preparations to open a new restaurant, when he got quite a surprise.

"Around three o'clock the bottom of the sky fell out. This whole place was surrounded, I didn't know what was going on," said Schofield.

More than 20 police officers and investigators had the East side Game Room and Schofield's restaurant surrounded.

"Everyone on this property was handcuffed for a period of time and most of those people were transported to jail," said Schofield.

Investigators say they obtained a search warrant after they received complaints of illegal activities going on at the Game Room

"Throughout my investigation I discovered there was illegal gambling using these machines behind me and there was some illegal card gambling. On top of it, I discovered there were some illegal drugs and narcotics being sold out of the facility," said Detective James Tilley.

Four machines, card tables, more than 3,000 dollars in cash and marijuana was taken from the business.

"What makes them illegal is you are required by law that you cannot pay out more than five dollars and if someone wins you can get merchandise or a gift certificate that can be redeemed for merchandise," said Tilley.

13 people, ranging from age 17 to 75 were arrested.

"You had some kids who were exposed and you had some people who were trying to do a legitimate business but we wrong place at wrong time,"

Including Scholfield, who says Marijuana was discovered on his property.

Schofield says he hopes the raid doesn't affect his business, and he still plans to open,

"We are still going to open, and I want everyone to know this had nothing to do with that building, it will be a nice establishment," said Schofield.

Investigators say there is no telling how long the illegal activity has been going on.

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