Gambling ring busted in Pocahontas

By Rebecca Lane - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - A gambling ring was busted thanks to the community's efforts.

"An anonymous phone call, and then getting people to come forward to report something like this," Detective Arvin Volner says, "That's what helps law enforcement get things like this solved."

Three weeks ago, Pocahontas Police were tipped to gambling going on at Russell One Stop on Highway 62.  Officers, with the use of an informant and an undercover officer from Jonesboro began to gather proof of the ring.  Saturday, they were able to execute their warrant, but were surprised at the extent of what they found.

Seven video poker machines and two poker tables filled the back room of the pool hall.  Twelve men were caught in the middle of a game that was in progress.  The machines, tables, chips and $1,200 dollars were seized by authorities.  By law, the machines will be destroyed.

The only man arrested from the ring was pool hall owner, Robert Lee Russell.  The prosecuting attorney for the case will decide what charges will be filed for the others involved.  They have been interviewed and released.  The P.A. will either decide to use them for information for on-going investigations, or on the defense.

Detective Volner is very thankful not only to the community for their efforts, but also to the Jonesboro Police Department for their assistance in bringing in the ring. He has seen the effects of what something like gambling can do to a family, which is what drives him to get it off the streets.

"It's an addiction just like alcohol or drugs. The family and the community as a whole suffer."

©2009 KAIT

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.