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An Oklahoma man pleads guilty to violating the ‘illegal gambling business’ statute in Amarillo federal court KAMR

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – An Oklahoma resident recently pleaded guilty in Amarillo federal court to a count of violating the “illegal gambling operations” statute.

According to documents filed Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division, Bluford Lewis Clary pleaded guilty to operating an “illegal gambling business.” This comes after an investigation conducted by officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Investigations uncovered a number of illegal gambling operations in the Texas Panhandle, including operations in Childress, Quanah, Shamrock and Memphis, Texas.

According to Clary’s factual resume, officials said that as early as 2017, Clary “knowingly operated, funded, administered, supervised, and directed an illegal gambling operation, together with other persons known and unknown to the United States.” In early 2018, the documents said that undercover officers from the Texas DPS and Homeland Security Investigations observed electronic slot machines in operation at the Red Room Gambling Room in Childress and received cash for their winnings.

From July 2018 to October 2018, officers observed Clary at the Red Room Gambling Room and made stops at other arcades in Quanah, Shamrock, and Memphis, Texas. Undercover officers were also paid cash for their winnings in these operations. Officials said in the documents that employees at the gaming rooms told officers that Clary operated, managed and supervised the rooms and taught the employees how to operate the rooms and how to collect money from the rooms on a weekly basis.

According to the documents, officers executed a search warrant at Clary’s home in Piedmont, Oklahoma and found winnings slips from the Red Room Gambling Room along with other books.

According to the plea agreement that accompanied Clary’s resume filed Tuesday, officials at the Amarillo Federal Court can issue the following maximum penalties:

  • imprisonment for a maximum of five years;
  • A fine not exceeding US$250,000 or twice any financial gain to the defendant or loss to the victim(s);
  • a period of supervised release not exceeding three years;
  • restitution to victims or to the community as required by law;
  • forfeiture of property.

According to the plea agreement documentation, the forfeiture includes:

  • $12,190 seized January 26, 2021 at the Lucky Arrow Game Room in Quanah;
  • $39,084 seized January 26, 2021 from Clary’s vehicle at the Red Room Gambling Room in Childress;
  • $2,001 confiscated January 26, 2021 at the Ruby Red Game Room in Memphis;
  • $8,768 seized January 26, 2021 at the Texas Tea Game Room in Muleshoe;
  • $6,508 seized January 26 at the Derrick Game Room in Pampa;
  • $1,490 seized Jan. 26 from another address in Pampa;
  • $159,070 seized January 26, 2021 from an address in Piedmont, Oklahoma;
  • $12,107 seized from a bank account on August 30, 2018;
  • $386,688 seized January 26, 2021 from another address in Piedmont, Oklahoma;
  • 101 motherboards seized on January 26, 2021 from eight-line electronic gaming machines at the above locations;
  • 37 SD cards and 13 hard drives were confiscated on January 26, 2021 at the above locations.

According to court documents, Clary’s re-charge hearing is scheduled for December 5 at 1:15 p.m. in Amarillo Federal Court.

This is an evolving story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.

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