Authorities Shut Down Illegal Gambling Operations

The first raid happened in the Cedar Grove community on FM 2251 off the loop in Lufkin.  Almost 800 people were members of the Cedar Grove Recreation Club.  A club investigators say was illegally owned and operated by Robert Wilson.

Sheriff Kent Henson said, "We had a lot of complaints on it; people calling.  They didn't understand we couldn't come out until we do an investigation on it."

Authorities seized Wilson's bank account which held more than a hundred thousand dollars, and 38 machines believed to have been used to gamble illegally.

Authorities also seized more than 40 machines from an illegal gambling house on Highway 103 East.  They'd had their eye on both places since October.

Harvey Brimer is being called the mastermind of that operation.  He'd posted signs to make it all look legal; signs warning customers no cash would be given away, only stuffed animals - since playing for plush prizes isn't a crime but gambling for green is against the law.

"They're paying people to work here and they're taking a cut of it," said Sheriff Henson said.  "It's not set up just for people to come in for their entertainment. You can not do it, not in the state of Texas."

Charges against Robert Wilson and Harvey Brimer include possession of a gambling device, keeping a gambling place and gambling promotion.

The charges against Wilson and Brimer are all Class A misdemeanors.  If convicted, they face six months in jail or probation.