A Trinity County jury has convicted a father and daughter of being part of an illegal gambling ring. Bob and Robin Moody were found guilty and sentenced to two years probation.
Jurors convicted Bob Moody of keeping a gambling place. He had been operating at least four different illegal gambling operations in Trinity County. His daughter, Robin Moody, was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity. Dozens of other suspects involved in the case have entered guilty pleas.
Last year, East Texas authorities raided several of these businesses and seized thousands of dollars.
Illegal gaming is an old problem in East Texas, especially in Trinity County. At one time as many as eight different gambling operations were up and running in the community handling big money from customers playing slot machines and eight liners. But many of the illegal gaming houses don't stay in business for long. It's often the loved one of a gambler who contacts authorities about the problem.
Texas Ranger Pete Maskunas said, "We're getting calls from people whose parents or grandparents go into these places and lose their car payment or their house payment or their electrical bill payment, and that's how we end up getting a complaint - somebody will have somebody that they know that's had this happen to them and they want to get it stopped."
Illegal gambling places are usually set up in unmarked buildings and sit out in the middle of nowhere and if you think it's a victimless crime, you're wrong.
"They're not paying any taxes," said Maskunas. "They're not paying any revenue back into the community, this is strictly an illegal organized crime activity. They're making money hand over fist and they're not paying anything back to the counties that they're affecting."
Not all gaming is illegal in Texas, but the law says you can only run a gambling operation if the prizes given away are valued at five dollars or less and there must be a separate prize for each win.