By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The roar of a bulldozer didn’t drown out the sounds of wood, metal and glass crushing beneath its weight as 27 electronic gambling machines joined the debris at the Laurel Ridge Landfill Thursday afternoon.
The gambling machines were confiscated by Laurel County Sheriff’s officials in June and August after reports of illegal gambling were investigated.
The sheriff’s office was court ordered to destroy the machines and Thursday’s event was the follow-through of that order.
Approximately 19 of the machines came from an establishment on U.S. 25 North in the Pittsburg community, where a full-fledged gambling establishment was discovered on June 16. Just two months later, the other gambling machines were removed from a business on Ky. 1006. Five people were arrested in the unrelated incidents and more than $10,000 in cash was confiscated.
On Thursday, the machines were loaded onto two tractor trailer beds and taken to the Laurel Ridge Landfill in the Lily area where they were crushed and pushed into the other garbage.
Although many small stores in the area have gambling machines in their facility, it is against Kentucky law to provide “pay-outs” on those machines.
The set-up of the gambling establishment at the North U.S. 25 facility was similar to a small casino, Sheriff John Root said at the time of the raid.
Witnesses of the destruction of the gambling machines in compliance with the court order were Root, Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore, Lt. Rodney Van Zant and Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter.