The Georgia Department of Revenue arrested a former high-ranking agent Friday, authorities said.
Ronald Huckaby oversaw two enforcement offices for the department’s alcohol and tobacco division, but he resigned a day after being interviewed by the GBI in connection with a statewide gambling raid, Channel 2 Action News reported.
On Friday, he was put in handcuffs and charged with racketeering after allegedly accepting bribes from a network that supplied gambling machines to approximately 70 stores across Bibb, Bullock and Chatham counties, Channel 2 reported. The stores were allegedly paying out cash winnings to those playing coin-operated amusement machines, which is illegal in Georgia.
Huckaby accepted five sets of round-trip airline tickets and a $13,000 Hublot watch “in return for influence and information,” according to documents obtained by the news station.
“Temptation exists, but we hold all of our employees to the highest standards,” Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioner David Curry said. “No one is above the law.”
Department of Revenue Special Investigations Director Josh Waites told Channel 2 that Huckaby is accused of using some of his agents — who did nothing wrong — to investigate competitors of the large gambling network in order to learn private information. The gambling ring is accused of making more then $39 million in profit from illegally operating the machines in 2017 and 2018.
“It’s disturbing anytime a law enforcement agent stops being an agent of the state and instead is alleged to have become an agent of a criminal enterprise,” Macon Circuit District Attorney David Cooke told the news station.
Huckaby was booked in the Bibb County Jail, Channel 2 reported.
The statewide investigation has been conducted by the Department of Revenue, GBI and Cooke’s office, and it has resulted in multiple arrests already.
Less than two weeks ago, a Bibb County deputy was arrested and charged in connection with this gambling raid, AJC.com previously reported. Rahim McCarley, 23, of Macon, is accused of making about $500,000 from illegal gambling through a convenience store he owned.
The raid also resulted in four other racketeering arrests. The investigation is ongoing.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.