By Larry Briscoe
Priority issues delayed raids on eight-liners and opening of a Hunt County Sheriff’s substation.
Sheriff Randy Meeks said his office was busy with extra patrols after murders of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and assistant, a jail escape in Hopkins County and a Greenville murder case trial.
The sheriff said deputies are providing extra security for employees of the Kaufman County office who live in Hunt County as well as local prosecutors.
Owners and operators of the eight-liners can still expect the sheriff to come calling, he said, as soon as deputies complete a canvass of locations that remain in violation.
“The two weeks are up,” Meeks said of notices hand-delivered by deputies to the locations that were operating eight-liners.
The sheriff said many of the locations in Hunt County that included Greenville, Commerce and Quinlan had cooperated and already removed the machines after notices of raids were delivered.
One of the sheriff’s pledges during his first campaign was to close illegal game rooms throughout the county. The game rooms were indeed closed and owners and operators arrested, but machines have since returned at some locations.
Work on a sheriff’s substation is also underway at a location on State Highway 276 between Quinlan and West Tawakoni.
Meeks said it now looked like mid-May when the facility would be ready for use. He said interior work remained to be completed although the outside was complete.
Local businessman Stan Cheney provided the location rent-free on a long-term lease to the county.