Video gambling machines confiscated in Orrville

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Clothes, tanning beds and video gambling machines &045;&045; all at your one-stop Orrville shop.

According to Assistant Chief Randy Pugh, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department deputies found nine video gambling machines after executing a search warrant at Hope Treasures in Orrville Friday morning.

Pugh said his department had received a complaint about the machines, which led to the search warrant.

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Hope Treasures and the adjacent J’s Grocery are owned by Robert Daniel Lee. The buildings sit next to each other and together offer food, alcohol, clothes and tanning beds.

That is, until last Friday.

Pugh said that upon entering Hope Treasures he saw nothing out of the ordinary. &uot;It was just a regular store. When you walk in that’s all you see,&uot; Pugh said.

A small door behind the counter that appeared to lead to a closet, though, instead opened onto a hidden room filled with the machines.

Pugh said the door size indicated the machines had been installed and the wall then built to conceal their presence. Deputies had to remove portions of the wall to remove the devices.

The machines are currently at a storage facility where they’ll be kept until a judge determines their fate. According to Pugh, a judge could order them returned to Lee, have them sold or destroyed.

This isn’t the first time video gambling machines have been discovered at Hope Treasures. Pugh said 17 machines were found last October.

Pugh said Lee wasn’t in town last Friday, and added that his department had contacted the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to discuss possible criminal charges.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman advised anyone interested in gambling to leave Dallas County. &uot;Go to Mississippi,&uot; Huffman said. &uot;Go to where it’s legal. The machines are illegal in Dallas County.&uot;