AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced that a Gregg County jury returned a guilty verdict against illegal eight liner operator, Danny Jester. Jester owned Gold Rush 777 in Longview and was charged with keeping a gambling place, gambling promotion, and possession of gambling devices and paraphernalia.
"The operation of eight liner slot machines violates the law. My office will work closely with local law enforcement to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who violate the law," said Attorney General Cornyn.
The guilty verdict was given to the Gregg County Court at Law today and the punishment hearing will be set in the near future. After only 10 minutes of deliberation, the jury found Jester guilty of five Class A misdemeanors which carry penalties of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000. Fourteen machines and approximately $1,045 in gambling proceeds from Gold Rush 777 will be forfeited to the State.
Last November, the Attorney General's office, DPS and the Longview Police Department seized illegal eight liner slot machines and illegal gambling proceeds at Gold Rush 777 and ten other eight liner businesses in Gregg County. Similar charges are pending against the defendants in the other cases. Jester was the first defendant to stand trial. Earlier this year, Russell Tunnell and William Osburn pled guilty to possession of a gambling device, paid a $4,000 fine and forfeited the illegal eight liner slot machines and illegal gambling proceeds to the State.
Since October 1999, the Attorney General's office has seized 1,000 illegal eight liner slot machines and $756,000 in illegal gambling wagers and prizes. Since January 1999, the Attorney General's office has been involved in civil cases resulting in the forfeiture of 322 illegal eight liner slot machines and $24,000 in illegal gambling wagers and prizes to the state.
Assistant Attorney General Grant Sparks in the Special Crimes Division of the Attorney General's office handled this case and worked with the Gregg County District Attorney's office.
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