Greenetrack raided by illegal gambling task force

GREENE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – Governor Riley's task force on illegal gambling has begun a raid upon Greenetrack in Greene County.

The raid began on Tuesday morning with a number of representatives from the Department of Public Safety and the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

According to the governor's office, the task force took control of all the machines in the facility to inspect and inventory them. The machines are expected to be moved to a different facility eventually.

On Monday, the Alabama Supreme Court vacated the orders of Circuit Court Judge Eddie Hardaway, Jr. Hardaway had entered an order on June 18th to prevent task force representatives from carry out inspections on the Greenetrack machines.

"Today's actions are being undertaken by the Task Force in pursuit of the forfeiture proceedings begun by the Greene County District Attorney and the orders of the Governor," said Task Force Commander John Tyson, Jr.  "Whenever a forfeiture action is initiated, the State has to have control over the machines at issue.  All we did today was to complete what the local District Attorney and former Sheriff started in early June."

Tyson was not on scene during the Tuesday morning raid. The raid was led by the Director of Public Safety, Col. Christopher J. Murphy.

"The Task Force actions taken this morning involved 10 uniformed state troopers," said Col. Murphy. "All of our actions are consistent with Judge Hardaway's order and those of the Alabama Supreme Court."

State troopers were still on the scene as of Tuesday afternoon. Employees scheduled to work afternoon shifts at Greenetrack could be seen outside of the building.

The Chairman of the Greene County Commission, William Johnson, told reporters that the state troopers had taken the hardware that operates the bingo machines. Johnson says that without the hardware, there is no way for Greenetrack to operate the bingo machines.

Late into the Tuesday raid, Judge Hardaway again issued an order for the illegal gambling task force to stop their raid. Task force officials plan to return to the Alabama Supreme Court to have this order nullified.

At the scene, Greene County Commission Chairman William Johnson was very outspoken in his opposition to the raid. "I'd rather be in Vietnam where people care about me, because the Governor doesn't give a damn about it," said Johnson. "We don't have a prayer. They are treating us like step children. They are treating us like slaves. We did better than this in the sixties. We are not stopping. We will work 'til hell freezes over."

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