Deputies seize slot machines, cash from Caney Creek Valero

Published 10:15 am Thursday, October 10, 2019

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Five slot machines and over $10,000 in cash were seized from the Caney Creek Valero on U.S. 27 South early Sunday morning.

According to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Oney, deputies executed a search warrant just after midnight Sunday as the result of a six-month investigation into reports of illegal gambling.

“We knew the machines were there. We knew by hearsay and on-the-street complaints,” said Oney. “We get people complaining to us just out on the street, in passing. They’d say, ‘You going to do anything about those machines down there? Blah, blah blah …’”

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“After a few complaints, that’s when we began to frequent the store. We began to kind of watch and observe how things ran and to take notes.”

One obvious clue in the investigation was picked up outside the doors of the gas station.

“We noticed the timing of parked vehicles in the parking lot,” Oney said. “You know, you walk into the store and you see two people and there’s 10 vehicles parked in the parking lot. Blue would call that a clue.”

Many slot machines found in illegal gambling raids print out tickets which are then redeemed for cash from a store’s cash registers, however, Oney said the machines taken from Caney Creek were slightly different.

“These certain machines did not print out tickets. It printed a ticket but it didn’t print to the actual player,” he said. “It was a system that was wired in, hardwired up to the cash register. Under the shelves there was another system that documented credits from out of the machine to be paid out to the players. We seized that, too. And ledgers and other items.”

Oney clarified the details of the months-long investigation that led to Sunday’s seizure of machines and cash.

“The six-month investigation wasn’t like a straight six months. It was a day here, a day there, a day next week,” he said. “I think people are misinterpreting that it was a day-to-day investigation for the past six months.”

No arrests have been made at this time, but charges are expected.

The case remains under investigation by Deputy Oney and the Sheriff’s department. Oney was assisted by Deputies Nick Adams, Andy Ferguson and Michael Mullins.