Day in court for Country Crossing and Task Force on Illegal Gambling

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) –  After weeks of back and forth between the governor's task force on illegal gambling and country crossing officials both sides attended a hearing on a search warrant for the entertainment complex.

But it didn't last very long.

Conecuh County Judge Jeff Brock said 'there was no ruling'.  He said there was no need for a hearing because the original search warrant expired.

"There is no case, there is no controversy yet," said Task Force Commander John Tyson outside the court house.

New gambling task force leader John Tyson said even having a hearing before a search warrant can be executed sets a bad precedent.

"When you take away the element of surprise you have killed the ability of the law enforcement community to protect this community this is a very bad precedent aside from the issue of gambling," said Tyson.

But Country Crossing's spokesman sees it differently.

"We feel if they try to get another search warrant the law will protect us and give is a right to be heard before a search warrant is issued in this county," said Attorney Jim Parkman.

For now the legality of the Country Crossing machines is still up in their air.

"What we have in this case is a bingo machine that is permissible under the law of the state of Alabama and that this county has done it correctly," said Parkman.

"You can't take a slot machine and slap a decal on it and call it bingo," added Tyson.

As far as any future court hearings Judge Brock says his plan is to seek clarification from the Alabama Supreme Court as to whether or not he will be the one hearing those future cases.

Country Crossing attorneys also filed a motion to have John Tyson recuse himself from hearing any Country Crossing cases because of a newspaper report that he received campaign contributions from gambling political action committees.

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