EL RENO, Okla. – The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, El Reno Police Department and federal agencies searched several El Reno businesses confiscating items like gambling machines Wednesday night.
Thursday, News Channel 4 spoke with the sheriff’s office about new developments in the investigation as well as those targeted.
Gambling machines were brought out of several businesses in El Reno.
Even the oldest VFW in Oklahoma was among the group.
“I have been advised to say not to comment on anything,” VFW Commander Bill Elkins said.
Commander Elkins did say the federal bust came as a surprise.
“Caught us off guard, yeah, but other than that, that’s all I can say,” he said. “I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t.”
VFW Post 382 wasn’t alone.
Gambling machines were carted out of Gilmore’s Pub.
The owner there declined to comment as well.
Charlie B’s was also seen searched along with several others in the city.
The sheriff’s office still could not say what businesses or how many were targeted.
The Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West said his office has been working with Homeland Security to gather information on several business and one resident for the past three years.
“There’s been criminal action that’s taken place and I can tell you what the sheriff’s hopes as well as the other people in the community is that it is not only addressed here locally with individuals but other individuals,” Undersheriff West said.
Undersheriff West said the effects of the investigation could reach beyond Canadian County and those responsible deserve justice.
Some who live in El Reno said they feel agents are after illegal gambling establishments.
“They have the slot machines in those places,” Shelly Williams said. “It was just something that I didn’t even know was a big deal, really. I mean, we have a casino up on the hill. Everyone goes out there.”
“It wasn’t a good deal because the people working there, it’s going to hurt them, besides the owners; it’s going to hurt everybody,” Kenneth Workman said.
Now, the gambling machines are gone and it’s back to business for many of those searched.
The Department of Homeland Security said it could be more than a year if evidence is brought against those searched Wednesday.