WARER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested several Houston County residents during a commercial gambling investigation Friday.
According to a news release, the operation is a joint effort with the GBI, Warner Robins Police Department, Centerville Police Department, Houston County Sheriff's Office, and Georgia Department of Revenue, along with the Georgia Lottery Corporation.
41NBC learned GBI agents were on the scene at the Dev's Food Mart on Belmont Drive in Warner Robins. A total of 14 search warrants were executed at businesses and residences in Warner Robins and Centerville for violations of Georgia's gambling laws.
The GBI arrested Shirley Mitchel of Warner Robins, Jagruti Patel of Warner Robins, Hinaben Patel of Warner Robins, Hargovindbhai Patel of Warner Robins, Zenaida Maston of Warner Robins, Rose Khalil of Byron, Craig Lucky of Warner Robins, and Andrew Hickey of Warner Robins. All eight suspects are charged with commercial gambling, which is a felony.
The news release states while searching the locations, the GBI collected evidence related to crimes of commercial gambling and seized monetary assets gained from the illegal use of the coin operated slot machine.
According to the GBI, all of the locations are currently licensed to operate the machines, however during the investigation, agents learned customers were receiving cash payouts for winning credits. In Georgia, credits may only be redeemed for lottery tickets and/or store merchandise.