Police seize 33 gambling machines, arrest 22 suspects

Police seize 33 gambling machines, arrest 22 suspects

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Birmingham police officers cart off gambling machines from a recording studio on 1st Ave. North and 9th Street. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC Birmingham police officers cart off gambling machines from a recording studio on 1st Ave. North and 9th Street. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC
A total of 33 gambling machines were confiscated in the bust. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC A total of 33 gambling machines were confiscated in the bust. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC
Police also arrested 22 people in the illegal gambling bust. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC Police also arrested 22 people in the illegal gambling bust. Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham police shut down a recording studio filled with what officers describe as illegal gambling machines.

Officers raided the business on 1st Avenue North and 9th Street and carted off gambling machines around noon on Friday, May 17.

The cMe Recording studio, apparently fronting as a recording studio, had only been in Birmingham one or two months.

Police say during that time, the owners had set up a gaming shop with dozens of machines inside.

"Once you came inside, there were three rooms. Each room was set up with various gaming machines and patrons inside playing," Sgt. Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department said.

When vice officers rushed in on Friday, they found 22 people inside who were subsequently arrested and taken to jail.

Officers also loaded up 33 various types of gaming machines and hauled those away.

The property manager says the tenants had only been there a month or two, but had never had any problems.

David Rixey and Dustin Gray work at Reliable Formed Plastics next door. They and several co-workers were having lunch when the operation went down. But for weeks they figured something fishy was going on.

"The traffic had grown tremendously over the last few months. Cars were parked all over the place," Gray said.

"Had no clue what it was. Figured with that much traffic it possibly wasn't recording," Rixey said.

Birmingham police arrested 20 patrons on charges of visiting an illegal gaming establishment and two people for operating an illegal gaming establishment. The suspects are being held in the Birmingham City Jail.

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