As part of an on-going investigation into illegal gambling operations, local authorities executed search warrants at two locations on Tuesday.
One of the locations was the home of one of the men arrested, which the police have yet to disclose, and the second place was Candlewood Suites in Smyrna, Tennessee, a small town outside of Nashville.
Smyrna police seized over $18,000 in cash, guns, poker chips, and a small amount of narcotics, after busting in on private poker game in progress at the Candlewood Suites.
“It was basically a well-organized poker game,” Smyrna Sgt. Bobby Gibson said. “This is still an active and ongoing investigation. There could be further arrests in some point in time.”
Public Safety Concerns
Sgt. Gibson stated his concern about public safety whenever a situation involves money and guns.
“Anytime something like that is going on, we have drugs we have money with firearms, it’s a safety concern for us.”
“With the presence of money, guns, unfortunately if someone feels cheated, it could lead to violent encounters,” said Sgt. Bobby Gibson. “We could have people involved in these encounters, or worse, someone absolutely uninvolved in this could be collateral injuries.”
Two Arrests Made So Far
The poker tournament, which ran 3 times a week, involved at least a dozen people, including the alleged organizers, Russell Hairr and George Barton.
Both men are arrested and charged with aggravated promotion of gambling and possession of gambling devices and are being held at the Rutherford County Jail. Bond was set at $11,000 for Hairr and $17,000 for Barton.
The investigation is ongoing and other charges are still pending.