Ozark's Little 'Las Vegas'

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

After weeks of surveillance, Dale County authorities say they've stopped the second of many gambling rings in the area.

There were thousands of dollars found inside gambling machines at a house in Ozark, but authorities say they aren't finished yet.

“They have there own little Las Vegas," said Sheriff Wally Olson of Dale County Sheriff's Department, describing what went on in the Ozark home, located on the corner of Highway 123 and Roy Parker Road.

From the outside it looks normal, but on the inside, it was anything but your average cozy get-away.

Wednesday night, sheriff's deputies loaded heavy gambling machines onto a truck; gambling machines which were inside the house.

Sheriff Olson said, "It's against the law and we're here to enforce the law."

Thirteen of the electronic gambling machines have been confiscated.

The man deputies say is behind the illegal business? Twenty-three-year-old Eddie Ledbetter of Ozark.

Authorities say neighbors complained of loud noises and for weeks, they surveyed Ledbetter's house and then made their move.

Four-thousand-dollars was seized and there could be more

Officials say, the machines could have come from any of our neighboring states where gambling is illegal.

"Some of them come from Georgia. I know from past experience we've seized machines and they all come from Georgia," said Sheriff Olson.

And, Ozark authorities say they are cracking down on what has become a big business in their city.

Dale/Geneva Co. District Attorney Kirke Adams says, "It's a very lucrative business. I have no idea why people would go and throw their money away at these places because people who are running these businesses are making a killing off these poor people. We're going to shut them down!"

According to Sheriff Olson, no one was in the home using the machines at the time of Ledbetter’s arrest.

Ledbetter has been charged with 12 counts of possession of an illegal gambling device. He is now out on bond.

This is the second gambling ring arrest in the last two months. Dale County sheriff's deputies also confiscated eight machines from a previous incident.


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