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HILLVIEW - What started out as an answer to a burglar alarm has resulted in 16 people being charged in an illegal gambling operation off Bells Mill Road.
Three men were arrested on Tuesday evening and 13 others were cited. Among those cited to Bullitt District Court was an off-duty police officer for the city of Shepherdsville.
According to Hillview police spokesman Roy Raines, officers had gotten some information about a possible casino/gambling operation going on in the city.
On Sunday night or early Monday morning, Raines said a burglary alarm went off at a business called Auto Glass Solutions on Arnold Drive in the Bells Mill Industrial Park.
Upon arrival, Hillview police officers found a door open. Looking for suspects, Raines said the officers found a room set up with 5-6 professional poker tables, three slot machines, a ledger book and cash.
The officers took pictures of the large room and left.
On Tuesday evening, around 10 p.m., Hillview police had secured a search warrant and visited the business once again.
Upon arrival, Raines said, 16 people were inside playing cards.
According to records at the Bullitt County Detention Center, Eric T. Justice, Stephen T. Miller and James K. Jenkins were taken into custody.
Jenkins, 37, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to promote gambling, possession of gambling records and permitting gambling. He is an employee with the city of Mount Washington.
Miller, 37, of Louisville, faces the same charges, as well as possession of a gambling device.
And Justice, 33, of Taylorsville, faces the charges of conspiracy to promote gambling, possession of gambling record, permitting gambling and possession of a gambling device.
According to Raines, the lease was in the name of Justice. However, there was no indication that a glass business ever operated at the facility.
According to a release from the Shepherdsville police department, off-duty officer Brent Dawson was one of the 13 individuals cited for loitering for the purpose of gambling.
The Shepherdsville Police is conducting an internal investigation into the incident. The Hillview Police will conduct the criminal investigation.
Pending the result of the internal investigation, Dawson has been assigned administrative duties.
Raines said the property was seized, including cash and poker chips.
He estimated the operation had been at the site for six weeks or less.
Through a check of the court schedule the following will be arraigned on Sept. 14 for citations of loitering, which is a violation with no jail time: Tony Lee Ramey, Cassandra Leigh Schmidt, Raymond Gerrard McCullough, Chad Eric Hunt, Debra H. Jenkins, Jeffrey Wayne Lyons, Tyler J. Joyner, Winnie Jean Ramey, Benjamin Wes Hodge, William Robert Wisdom, Roger Augustine Salgado II, Lawrence Wayne Buckner and Dawson.
Probable cause hearings will be held on Sept. 15 for Justice, Miller and Jenkins. All have been released on bond from the Bullitt County Detention Center.
The charge of complicity to promote gambling is a Class D felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison. The other charges are misdemeanors.
If probable cause is found, the cases would be sent to the Bullitt County Grand Jury for possible indictment.