Arrests made for operating slot machines

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Five arrests were made in Lepanto last week for operating illegal gambling machines at businesses.

According to a press release from Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder, the sheriff's office executed search warrants on Aug. 31 at Judy's Snack House, Lepanto Auction, Landen's Tires, Mama's Attic, Harbin's Body Shop, and T&B Outdoors. Molder said this was the result of an ongoing investigation over several months. Thirty-three gambling machines total were seized from the businesses.

On Friday, Sept. 1, owners of the six businesses appeared for probable cause hearings with District Court Judge Ron Hunter. Charges were as follows:

*Judy Blocker, owner of Judy's Snack Shack, was charged with one count of gambling houses and one count of criminal use of property. Eight machines were seized from her business.

*Brandon Harbin, owner of Harbin's Body Shop and T&B Outdoors, was charged with two counts of gambling houses and two counts of criminal use of property. Five machines were seized from Harbin's Body Shop, and three were seized from T&B Outdoors.

*Richard Collins, owner of Mama's Attic, was charged with one count of gambling houses and one count of criminal use of property. Five machines were seized from his business.

*Michael Roach, owner of Landon's Tires, was charged with one count of gambling houses and one count of criminal use of property. Seven machines were seized from his business.

*Jimmy Laden, owner of Lepanto Auction, was charged with one count of gambling houses and one count of criminal use of property. Five machines were seized from his business.

All were released on their own recognizance with a circuit court date of Oct. 30.

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