The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office concluded a several month investigation into illegal gambling activities at a location on FM 3175 east of Lytle.
On Saturday, June 2 Sergeant Investigator Robert Newman of the sheriff’s criminal investigation division applied for and obtained a search warrant for the premises. During the investigation, investigators were able to determine that patrons playing the 8-Liner gambling machines were being paid out in cash for their winnings.
“This is in violation of State law,” explained Sheriff David Soward. “Winners are not allowed to be paid with anything of value over $5 and they cannot be paid in cash.”
Sheriff Soward went on to explain that he and his office had received numerous complaints about the establishment over the past few months which initiated the investigation. Shortly before 7 p.m. sheriff’s investigators executed the search warrant signed by Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Jackie Bodden.
According to sheriff’s investigators, over 30 individuals were present in the game room when deputies made entry and secured the scene. Chief Investigator Jake Guerra stated a total of 53 machines were present and in operation. “Investigators confiscated $4,495 in cash from the machines and the employee that was present,” stated the Chief.
Pursuant to the search warrant, the investigators removed the “mother board” and program chips from the machines which have more value than the machine itself and makes the machine non-functional.
Arrested at the scene and charged with Keeping a Gambling Place, was Rosa Maria Salazar, 59, of San Antonio. Bond on Salazar was set at $7,500 on the Class A Misdemeanor by Judge Bodden.
Sergeant Newman obtained an arrest warrant on June 5 for Clayton Burl Jopling, 53, of Lytle, charging him with Gambling Promotion, also a Class A Misdemeanor. Sheriff Soward stated that their investigation concluded that Jopling was the owner of the establishment. The Sheriff stated he expects a third arrest to be made in the case upon the completion of the investigation. Jopling’s bond was set at $7,500 by Judge Bodden. Both suspects have been released on bond.
The Sheriff explained that the cases will be forwarded to the County Attorney’s Office for prosecution.