2017-10-25 / Front Page

DPS 8-liner visits draw attention


“Raids” on 8-liner gaming halls in southern Willacy County last Thursday night by the Texas Department of Public Safety turned out to be only routine security officer checks, Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said.

“They hit nine in Sebastian and four in Lyford,” the sheriff said of the DPS. “They were just checking security guards for their credentials and qualifications. They only found minor violations.”

But some of the gaming halls apparently thought state officers were conducting all-out raids, so as the word spread on social media, some began quickly closing and quickly fleeing the halls, the sheriff said. But the state officers were strictly confining their visits to checking only the security guards licenses.

A DPS spokesman did not return calls to the Raymondville Chronicle & Willacy County News.

A report to his department after the DPS visits of a security guard carrying a long rifle could not be verified, Spence said. Some of the security guards have permits to carry weapons and some do not, he said.

Willacy County has inspected the buildings for health, safety and building code (electrical, plumbing and structural violations and fire department have checked fire code compliance, the sheriff said.

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