Bryan businesses busted for illegal gambling
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
BRYAN -- A Bryan gas station and convenience store was raided Monday for allegedly holding illegal gambling operations and today the store's owner is speaking out in an exclusive interview with Fox 28's Lauren Holman about the ongoing investigation into his business.
Malik Hemanei, co-owner of the Chevron Food-Mart gas station, off Briarcrest Drive says he was shocked when his store was busted for illegal gambling.
"We had no idea it was illegal," said Hemanei. "It's actually not an 8-liner, it's a sweepstakes machine and sweepstakes are a legal form and they can win cash prizes on them."
But Brazos County Attorney, Rod Anderson, says that's not the case.
"If you're wanting to win something of value and that's why you are playing the machine and it's going to provide you of something of value, then that's when it's over the line and illegal gambling," Anderson said.
After a lengthy investigation, Anderson served search warrants Monday to seven Bryan businesses and Hemanei's store was one of them.
Police took all six of his gaming machines as evidence but Hemanei says he would have never purchased the systems if he knew they were illegal
"Go on their website 'thedonatezone.com' and check it out for yourself, see if we tried to do anything illegal. It advertised clearly on their FAQ's that you can win cash prizes on there and it says it's completely legal and that's what we followed."
County Attorney Anderson says the investigation is still in the early stages and no arrests have been made at this time.