Anchor Club in Brighton raided by Jeffco sheriff's deputies

BRIGHTON, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies have raided the Anchor Club in Brighton in connection to their electronic bingo machines.

On Monday morning, Deputies arrived at the club morning with a moving van and denied customers access to the building.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale says he was told to shut down the club by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls. Hale was removed from the injunction that barred most law enforcement from shutting down the club last week and he says he immediately began an investigation.

According to Hale, the Attorney General and D.A. Falls agree that the machines at the Anchor Club are illegal. To save on costs, the sheriff's office will not be seizing and removing the machines, but will instead padlock the club. Hale also plans to move to condemn the property and seize the building if it is proven to be connected to illegal gambling.

As far as other clubs go, Hale says that any club with illegal machines will be raided whether operating or not.

During the raid, two arrests were made. Phillip Travis White was charged with Obstruction of Justice and William Osmer faces a charge of Possession of Gaming Material.

Anchor Club owner Robert White says he is not happy about the raid, but sees it as an opportunity.

"The only way to end this is to take the machines to the courthouse and see if they are legal or not," said White on Monday morning.

White contends that the machines at his club will comply to the 6 point test established by the Alabama Supreme Court.

The Anchor Club reopened for business in late March after a judge allowed e-bingo businesses to reopen in Jefferson County. Later, the judge removed Sheriff Mike Hale from the injunction to allow him to make raids upon e-bingo businesses.

Fairfield City Attorney Michael Trucks says that Attorney General Luther Strange issued subpoenas on Friday. One of the subpoenas came to Fairfield and requested information on all licensed Fairfield bingo halls. Trucks says he expects Midfield and Brighton to have received the same.

As for bingo hall operators, Trucks urges bingo halls to stay closed until a court rules they can open, given the current situation at the Anchor Club.

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