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Agents bust gambling establishment

By Ed Brock

Agents with the Clayton County Drug Task Force went undercover to expose a tobacco shop they say was a front for illegal gambling.

A phone tip to Clayton County Sheriff Stanley Tuggle led to the investigation and Wednesday night's raid at Tropics Tobacco Outlet on Pointe South Parkway. The owner of the store, 39-year-old Kenneth Woo of Fayetteville, and 56-year-old Fannie Simmons of Griffin were arrested in the raid that occurred around 9 p.m.

They were charged with commercial gambling and ownership of gambling devices.

The agents found only 20 cartons of cigarettes in the store and seven video gambling machines to which were attached notes reading "See attendant before cashing out."

"The tobacco store was nothing but a cover," Tuggle said.

Tuggle said he got the call about two weeks ago from a man who told him that the store had paid him in cash when he won the game. After that the task force sent in an agent.

"Our first time in after we won they paid off in cash," Tuggle said.

The task force then went back in with an agent using a hidden camera and microphone.

In January members of the task force confiscated over 230 video poker machines from Unique Treasures in Forest Park and Lucky Coin Amusement in Tucker in what may have been the largest such raid since the machines were banned in Georgia last year.