HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Eight East Texans were arrested on July 15 for gambling and organized criminal activity after a joint investigation between the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and Mabank Police Department.
According to Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse, the operation has been ongoing for the last couple of years and Mabank police reached out to the sheriff’s office for assistance once it became clear the organization was operating multiple game rooms.
Hayley Phillips, 17 of Gun Barrel City, Tristyn Mills, 24 of Kemp, Kassandra Jonas, 32 of Kemp, Muhammad Adnan, 33 of Forney, Sandra Pergeson, 49 of Gun Barrel City and Syed-Arshad Hussain, 50 of Lewisville were each arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity, possession of a gambling device, gambling promotion and keeping a gambling place.
Hillhouse said two more people were arrested for having suspected meth on them, and between the eight that were arrested, 28 charges were filed with 10 felonies and 18 misdemeanors. As of Wednesday, Hillhouse said they are seeking search warrants for one more.
“It was a successful operation,” Hillhouse said. “They will be facing felony charges and we were able to shut down three more game rooms.”
Hillhouse said $50,000 cash, motherboards from the games, two cars, and a firearm were all seized from the game rooms, and that other criminal activity has been active every time the department has shut down a game room.
“They’re not safe places to be,” Hillhouse said. “We had pistols in there, meth in there along with everything else that was going on.”
He said that wanted felons, fugitives and drug activity are normal to be found in game rooms, and that people get robbed from time to time, but often don’t report.
The investigation started with one game room in Mabank, but ultimately the organization was found to be operating three game rooms that were shut down across the county.
Hillhouse said game rooms are constantly being shut down, and activity begins to come back about every six to eight months after an operation.