A Bibb County deputy was arrested during a statewide gambling raid Tuesday and charged with racketeering.
Deputy Rahim McCarley, 23, of Macon, owned convenience store RJS on Pio Nono Avenue where he allegedly profited nearly half a million dollars from illegal gambling, a Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office news release said.
In a little more than a year, McCarley participated in the bribery, tax evasion and money laundering schemes, the release said.
His store was one of three that was part of the statewide raid by the Georgia Department of Revenue, the GBI and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, among other agencies.
The stores were allegedly paying out cash winnings to those playing coin-operated amusement machines, which is illegal in Georgia. McCarley told Channel 2 Action News he did not know about the cash payouts.
Sheriff David Davis told the news station McCarley was an Atlanta police officer before being hired by his sheriff’s office about a year ago.
“Our internal affairs unit has been alerted to these enforcement actions,” Davis said.
The raid resulted in four other racketeering arrests, the release said.
After the raid, Macon District Attorney David Cooke, who has made dismantling this illegal gambling industry somewhat of a personal mission, filed a civil forfeiture action against the companies that place the machines.
“In addition to the financial crimes associated with their operation, this type of gambling has been described by experts as being incredibly addictive, hooking our society’s most vulnerable members into gambling away money they can’t afford to lose,” Cooke said.
The civil forfeiture action names S&W Amusement Inc., Booray Group LLC, Krishna Amusement Inc. and PNP Amusement Games LLC as defendants. The DA’s Office said the companies own more than 400 gambling machines at about 70 locations in the state.
Bibb, Bullock and Chatham counties are hubs for businesses that house those gambling machines that give illegal payouts, according to the release.
The district attorney’s office is alleging the defendants failed to pay taxes on more than $39 million in profit from illegally operating the machines in 2017 and 2018.
Customers have gambled more than $121 million and received $82 million in cash and prizes from the machines, according to the release.
The release said an investigation also revealed evidence of bribery and public corruption in connection to the illegal gambling industry.
“These machines are a cancer on our society and it’s time that they’re removed from the Macon Judicial Circuit and the rest of the state,” Cooke said.
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