Cameras Capture Raid At Gaming Center

Cameras Capture Raid At Gaming Center

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UPDATE: District Attorney, Ashley Rich, and the sheriff's office say they just started their investigation into alleged illegal gambling at the MOWA Indian Reservation. Rich says there may be arrests coming depending on what they discover. The chief of the MOWAS says the raid was illegal and that the sheriff's office had no right to seize their bingo machines.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon Mobile County Sheriff's Deputies centered in on the Choctaw Entertainment Center in Mount Vernon. They seized 49 electronic gaming machines.

"The only type of bingo that's legal in Mobile County is the paper kind and electronic bingo devices of any kind are deemed illegal," said Sgt. Joe Mahoney with the MCSO.

The machines were seized from the Mowa Choctaw Indian Tribe Reservation.

It's a move that tribe leaders are upset about. They say they weren't doing anything illegal.

"There are some people in the leadership that felt we had legal means to pursue gaming," said Tribal Councilman Jacob Snow.

News 5 spoke to Tribal Chief Framon Weaver earlier this week about the gaming operation.

"We are part of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830. That treaty meant that we could stay here and we didn't lose our citizenship in Choctaw as a Choctaw," he said.

The machines are now being stored at the sheriff's office until a judge can rule on the issue.

"We will file for forfeiture on the machines and make a court case. If a judge determines that these are in fact illegal machines they'll be condemned and most likely destroyed," said Sgt. Mahoney.

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