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Five arrests made in gambling machine raids at Fort Smith pool halls

Police came across 12 gaming machines with cash payouts at Buckets Billiards on Grand Ave. and 20 gaming machines with cash payouts at Classic Billiards on Zero St.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Police have arrested five men and seized 33 gaming machines with cash payouts found in the backrooms of two Fort Smith pool halls. 

According to Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue, authorities discovered the machines while law enforcement officers were conducting an unrelated investigation into drugs in the region. 

Police came across 12 gaming machines with cash payouts at Buckets Billiards on Grand Avenue and 20 gaming machines with cash payouts at Classic Billiards on Zero Street. 

Following a five-week investigation, search warrants were granted for each business on Friday, April 16, and the machines were seized along with $62,261. 

Michael Eakin, 67, Bryce Bandy, 28, Edwin Eddins, 57, Chad Bandy, 44, and Ronald Wight, 60, have all been charged with keeping a gambling house in connection with the machines, Shue says. 

11 people who were betting on the machines have also been charged with betting on a gaming device, an unclassified misdemeanor.

In Arkansas, keeping a gambling house is a Class D felony. 

Check back for updates to this developing story tonight on 5NEWS 4, 5 & 6. 

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