The Smithville Police Department is preparing to crack down on illegal gambling devices in the city.
In a news release, Chief Richard Jennings says "I have received several complaints from citizens in our community about illegal gambling devices in certain business establishments within the city limits of Smithville."
"I contacted the District Attorney General's Office and asked for a clarification of TCA code (state law) on possession of illegal gambling devices and their recommendation on the enforcement of the law. The Attorney General's office recommended giving ten days notice of the police department's intention to enforce TCA code 39-17-505 (Possession of gambling devices). I have decided to follow their recommendation."
"On Friday, May 9th, the Smithville Police Department will begin the enforcement of this law."
Under state law, "A person commits an offense who knowingly owns, manufactures, possesses, buys, sells, rents, leases, stores, repairs, transports, prints, or makes any gambling device or record."
"Any gambling device or record is contraband and shall be subject to seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture in accordance with the forfeiture provisions, codified in Chapter 11, part 7 of this title."
"After a gambling device or record has been forfeited to the state pursuant to chapter 11, part 7 of this title, the court hearing the criminal charges resulting in the forfeiture shall order the destruction of the device or record. If the district attorney general or law enforcement agency does not believe that a gambling device or record should be destroyed in a particular case, the district attorney general shall petition the court for an alternate disposition of the record or device. If the court finds that the proposed alternate disposition reasonably ensures that the device will not be used in an unlawful manner in this state, the court may grant the petition and order the disposition of the device or record in accordance with the petition."
"Possession of gambling device or record is a Class B misdemeanor".