John Wesley Hall

White collar crimes: Councilman accused of illegal gambling

A city councillor in Brinkley has been charged with a class D felony recently for allegedly operating a gambling establishment. Arkansas authorities presented the councillor with an arrest warrant on May 3. As is the case with many white collar crimes, the official was released on his own recognizance, but he was set to return to a county circuit court on May 6 for his first appearance.

Very little information has been released pertaining to the man's alleged illegal activities. However, most Arkansas residents are aware that many forms of gambling are either strictly controlled if not illegal altogether throughout the state. Police say the councillor was operating a gambling establishment out of a barbecue restaurant he owns in Monroe County.

The restaurant was raided on April 19 following an investigation into the councillor's activities that spanned a full month. According to a press release, officers on the scene seized some ten video arcade machines designed for gambling purposes, as well as an unknown amount of cash. The councillor stands accused of keeping a gambling house, and if he is found guilty, he could be forced to resign from city council.

When a man's livelihood and reputation are on the line, it is important for due process to be observed. Even in cases of white collar crimes, which some Arkansas residents might consider to be less severe than other, more violent crimes, the results of a guilty verdict can be devastating to an individual and his or her family. This is why the burden of proof will rest on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the man was engaged in illegal activity. His defense counsel will carefully review the facts of the case to build a compelling defense against the charges filed against him.

Source: katv.com, "Arkansas city councilman charged after gambling machines found at BBQ restaurant", Scott Carroll, May 3, 2018

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