Williamsburg police executed a search warrant late Tuesday afternoon in far eastern Whitley County and seized 10 different types of gambling devices from the Blue Store off Ky. 92E.
In addition, a check of one man playing a machine revealed that he was a wanted fugitive out of Whitley County for various alleged sex offenses.
"We were there in reference to an investigation into the illegal possession of gambling devices, poker machines," said Williamsburg Public Affairs Officer Shawn Jackson.
He said that after several recent bootleg raids, police started getting additional complaints about the illegal gambling machines.
"We received numerous complaints. Through a cooperating source, we were able to go in and play the machines and get paid off, which is illegal," Jackson said.
"The subjects today stated to us that they thought the governor passed and legalized gambling to where anyone could gamble. However, that is not the case. All gambling laws are still in place."
Police charged Benjamin Robert Bryden, 27, of Highway 92E, Siler, with second-degree promoting gambling, possession of gambling records and 10 counts of possession of a gambling device.
Police seized an undetermined amount of cash in the machines, in addition to six poker machines, punchboards, and a quarter cash machine.
"We also seized several gambling records. They were very organized with keeping their illegal records. We did seize them also," Jackson said. "In the state of Kentucky, if you have the poker machines in a store and they are paying out, it is illegal, no question about it. That is a form of gambling and they are considered gambling devices under Kentucky law."
While at the store, Detective Bobby Freeman recognized one individual playing the gambling machines as a wanted suspect.
A computer search showed that James M. Croley II, 43, of Highway 904, Williamsburg, was wanted for failure to comply with sex offender laws in addition to indictment warrants out of Whitley County for second-degree rape, sodomy and for being a persistent felony offender, Jackson said.
He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
"He stated that he had been on the run for quite a while," Jackson added.
Both Croley and Bryden were arrested without incident and lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.
"This investigation is continuing in connection with this search warrant. There are other arrests possible. This will be an ongoing investigation that Detective Freeman is conducting," Jackson noted.
Other officers assisting at the scene included: Jackson, Chief Wayne Bird, K-9 Officer Brandon Prewitt and Kentucky State Police Trooper Les Moses.