Three Coffee Co. businesses raided in illegal gambling bust

COFFEE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — An investigation into illegal gambling in Coffee County led to several raids and thousands of dollars worth of equipment being confiscated this week, authorities announced Thursday.

On Wednesday, May 8, investigators with the Enterprise Police Department and Coffee County Sheriff’s Office raided three businesses: one in the Morgan Square Mall on Rucker Boulevard and two in the Watson Glass Shopping Plaza on Highway 27. The names of the businesses were not provided.

During a press conference Thursday morning, District Attorney James Tarbox revealed the raids were part of an operation investigating illegal gambling dubbed “Project Las Vegas.”

DA Tarbox said officers seized 16 illegal gambling machines worth around $80,000, computer equipment used to operate the machines, and approximately $16,000.

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The investigation into the alleged illegal gambling in Enterprise began in late 2023 when investigators from the CCSO and the EPD began surveilling several businesses around the City of Progress.

According to DA Tarbox, CSSO deputies wrote warnings to business owners who possessed gambling machines, ordering them to shut down their operations; however, in March, it was discovered that the businesses had not stopped and had changed business practices to hide their operations.

The EPD and CCSO began another investigation, which resulted in raids on Wednesday night.

The investigation into illegal gambling in Coffee County is still ongoing. While no one has been charged during the raid, DA Tarbox says it is a Class A misdemeanor to operate and promote gambling, and they reserve the right to bring charges.

Sheriff Scott Byrd says bringing down illegal gambling operations in his county has been a priority of his office since his first day in office.

“I saw these machines for several years, and I vowed we would do something about it when I became sheriff,” said Sheriff Byrd. “We are trying to clean this town up.”

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