Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke announced Wednesday that his office and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office will share $175,000 in “forfeiture funds” from a gambling-case settlement.
“Our offices will use these funds to make our community safer by exploring the purchase of innovative technology such as body cameras and by enhancing funding for victim-witness programs,” Cooke said in a statement.
He presented Sheriff David Davis with a check for $43,929 for the sheriff’s office’s share of the settlement, which Davis said would serve as “seed money” to eventually help outfit deputies with body cameras.
The money comes from a case against a Shell gas mart at the intersection of Forest Hill Road and Northside Drive in Macon, part of a broader civil racketeering and commercial gambling sting.
Ten convenience stores were closed Nov. 5 as part of Bibb County’s largest-ever commercial gambling raid. Prosecutors also filed a civil complaint seeking the forfeiture of funds from 77 bank accounts, as well as nine vehicles plus other property related to alleged violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Soon after the raid, a judge granted a motion from prosecutors seeking a court-appointed lawyer to manage the assets and property, including the stores, while the civil case was pending.
Later, authorities announced that eight of the stores had entered into a consent agreement that would allow them to reopen under special conditions. Among the conditions: Gambling machines must be removed and all activities would be supervised by a court-appointed attorney.
Wednesday’s announced settlement with the Shell station’s owner prohibits them from having electronic gaming machines.
“Based on the evidence we developed in the course of this investigation, the owners of the Shell station ultimately decided to cooperate with the state. ... Based upon this cooperation, no criminal charges will be filed with respect to this location,” Cooke said.