Two local storeowners now face felony gambling charges after police seized eight video poker machines from their store earlier this month, and they could serve up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
Criminal summonses have been issued for Kenneth Henry Gilmore Sr., 62, of Corbin, and Gary Wayne Webb, 45, of Newcomb, Tenn. by Whitley District Judge Cathy Prewitt as a result of the investigation. The two are ordered to appear in Whitley District Court in Corbin March 31 for an arraignment hearing on charges of promoting gambling and possession of gambling records, both felony offenses, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a gambling device.
On March 3, Corbin Police raided Convenient Food Mart on Cumberland Falls Hwy., owned by the pair, and took the machines. The move came after an undercover Operation UNITE detective used one of the machines on Feb. 27 and received a cash payout of $62.80 for winnings from a store clerk.
Initially, Gilmore and Webb did not face criminal charges. Corbin Police Capt. Tim Helton, the lead investigator in the case, said he had to meet with prosecutors to discuss the investigation before filing charges on March 18.
“I had to make sure everything was done the way it needed to be done and that the prosecutors knew what was going on,” Helton said. “It’s not uncommon to do that. I’ve done it on cases in the past.”
While the machines were being seized, Webb said they were actually owned by someone from London. He refused to make any further comments.
Helton said Tuesday that authorities think they know whom the machines belong to, but that the information has not been confirmed.
“Nobody has officially given me a statement on that. There are no ownership papers with the machines. I think I know who owns them,” Helton said.
Helton said that attorney’s who represent “other possible defendants” in the case have contacted police for information on the investigation.
After the initial raid, police said they planned to remove machines from other businesses in Corbin as well. That never materialized. Helton said since authorities seized machines from Convenient Food Mart, other merchants got the message.
“They were the ones we investigated first because we had received the most complaints on them,” Helton said. “Since then, all the other businesses within the city limits have removed all of their machines as far as we know.”
Gilmore and Webb also own Convenient Food Mart on U.S. 25 near Kentucky Fried Chicken.