Lufkin PD investigation into illegal gambling results in 2 felony arrests

Lufkin PD investigation into illegal gambling results in 2 felony arrests
Larry McCauley (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Larry McCauley (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Catherine Proutt (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Catherine Proutt (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a man and woman Tuesday on gambling charges after a a confidential informant gambled at a business on Kurth Drive with machines that were allegedly giving cash pay outs.

Larry Dean McCauley, 55, of San Augustine, and Catherine Jean Proutt, 62, of Lufkin, were both charged with state-jail felony engaging in organized crime, Class A misdemeanor keeping a gambling place, Class A misdemeanor gambling promotion, and Class A misdemeanor possession of gambling equipment or paraphernalia.

McCauley was released from the Angelina County Jail later that day after he posted an undisclosed bail amount. Proutt is still being held in the jail.

According to one of the eight arrest affidavits for the two people, two Lufkin Police Department narcotics investigators started working with a confidential informant on Sept. 28 and provided him or her with $40 cash to play the gambling machines at 808 Kurth Drive.

Once inside the business, the confidential informant, who was equipped with a recording device, talked to Proutt and got change for a $20 bill. At that point, he or she started playing the game and winning small amounts of cash, the affidavit stated.

Later in the investigation, a woman told the confidential informant that McCauley owned the gambling machines at the business located at 808 Kurth Drive and that Proutt worked for him, the affidavit stated.

The confidential informant also told police that McCauley drives a maroon Ford pickup and that he would go to the business on Tuesdays and most Fridays to meet with Proutt. On those days, they would allegedly divide the money from the machines.

On the morning of Oct. 4, the LPD investigators watched the business on Kurth Drive. They saw McCauley pull up in the pickup and park next to Proutt's GMC SUV. A short time later, both suspects were seen leaving the business and McCauley had what appeared to be a large bank bag with him, the affidavit stated.

The Lufkin PD investigators conducted another surveillance on the business on Oct. 11. Like before, McCauley allegedly pulled into the parking lot in in his pickup and then left a short time later with the bank bag.

According to the affidavit, the investigators followed McCauley from the game room to the Steel Horse Saloon on State Highway 94 in Trinity County. The investigators watched as McCauley left the business with a bag and put it in his pickup, the affidavit stated.

The investigators learned that the Steel Horse Saloon sells alcohol, and they sent an undercover police officer in to verify the business had gambling machines on Oct. 28.

Then the undercover officer went into the Steel Horse Saloon again on Nov. 7 with a predetermined amount of cash, started playing the gambling machines, and won small amounts of money, the affidavit stated. The confidential informant also played the machines and won.

A woman who was also playing the machines told the confidential informant that if the Steel Horse staff didn't know them, they would have to leave the tickets there and come back the next day for the cash or offer them some type of prize, the affidavit stated.

The woman told them that since they were "good guys," she would take their tickets and get cash for them from the staff, the affidavit stated. During the conversation, the woman told the undercover officer and the confidential informant that she played the machines all the time and that she had won more than $100 recently, the affidavit stated.

The officer and the CI watched the woman talk to a Steel Horse Saloon employee. They watched the employee and the woman act "secretive about their movements while retrieving the money to pay out for the tickets, the affidavit stated. At that point, the woman allegedly brought the officer and the confidential informant their winnings.

Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said Wednesday he was not aware Lufkin Police had done an investigation at the facility and would look into the matter.

Lufkin Police spokeswoman Jessica Pebsworth said police had called the sheriff's office to let them know what they were doing and left a message with dispatch.

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