MCSO applauding crime tip that leads to gambling bust

Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:00 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - On Monday, a drug investigation led to a gambling bust at a Mobile bar.

According to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, three women were arrested and charged with promoting gambling.

MCSO says they rarely make arrests involving gambling, and they’ve only made 7 gambling arrests so far this year.

MCSO Public Affairs Director Lori Myles says investigators discovered illegal gambling machines and gambling records at The Rear Pocket bar on Emogene Street.

“We received a crime tip about the possible sale of narcotics at two different places. We had our undercover narcotics go and do an investigation there,” said Myles. “They didn’t find any drugs previously. Once they got the search warrant, they found gambling machines and records.”

Myles is applauding a crime tip they received regarding drug complaints in that area.

“What I like so much about crime tips and what I want to say to people is this is a prime example of us working a crime tip. It’s not a jurisdiction. This is the City’s jurisdiction but it was found under narcotics,” she added. “We took it on ourselves and decided well, if there is something here and we’ve gotten this many calls about it, we’re not going to push it off to somebody else, we’re gonna investigate it.”

While at The Rear Pocket, deputies arrested 82-year-old Grace Marie Willis, 60-year-old Lisa Ann Carpenter, and 45-year-old Felicia Suzanne Pierce.

All three were charged with promoting gambling. Willis and Carpenter were also charged with possession of a gambling device and possession of gambling records.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are 18, 55 or 84,” said Myles. “If you’re breaking the law, you’re gonna have to account for why you did it.

Myles says this is a rare operation.

“I’ve worked here since 2008, and maybe back in 2010 we may have had some of those cases and we may have had gambling machines that we seized. We don’t typically see a lot of this, but we did this time and the law is the law,” she explained.

Aside from the six ‘Cherry Picker’ machines deputies seized, investigators say they found suspected ecstasy behind the bar and possible cocaine in the women’s bathroom.

Meanwhile, Myles is encouraging the community to use their crime tip website. Myles says it’s a community effort to tackle cases like these.

“Use our crime tips. Our Crime Tips is there so you can see what’s happening in your neighborhood. Report it, pay attention, keep your eyes open to what’s in your neighborhood because as a community that’s how we solve crimes.”

All three accused women have since posted bond and are set to appear in court on June 13.