Albany -- Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators raided four convenience stores and confiscated video gambling machines. Declared illegal by the state legislature years ago, investigators say the machines keep turning up in South Georgia stores.
Five video gambling machines are confiscated from Ellen's Groceries and Beverage Barn at North Jefferson and 8th Avenue about ten AM. The machines have stickers on the side that say they are not gambling machines.
Sheriff's Investigator Lt. Craig Dodd said, "The District Attorney's office differs in opinion on that. As I understand it, the Attorney General's office of the state of Georgia differs on that opinion. So we are going to do what we are supposed to do."
Investigators say the machines were in the metal building added to the side of this store, behind the counter and a curtain hiding them. Lt. Dodd said "The way the law is written, It's illegal to have these machines in the stores at all."
About 10:45 four more gambling machines are hauled out of the Stop and Shop in Putney at Antioch Road. These machines were next to the front window in plain sight in the store. No one was arrested in these raids.
Store owners say the machines belong to Greater Georgia Amusement Company, but there is no address where they are located. Lt. Dodd said "You'd think they would tired of us confiscating their machines."
Sheriff's Investigators say deputies have found gambling machines in a number of other stores in Dougherty County. Lt. Dodd said "There is a good chance we will be hitting some other locations in the next couple of days to a week, if they're not gone when we get there."
The confiscated video gambling machines will be opened at the Dougherty County Jail, where they will be stored. The machine owners will be charged with commercial gambling, if they are found.
In all 15 video gambling machines were confiscated by Sheriff's Investigators Monday. If a Judge declares them illegal, the machines will be destroyed.