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Operation Bishop to Banish Eight-Liners in Cameron County

The Lucky Place Arcade in Harlingen was one of five raided Saturday during Operation Bishop. (Cameron County DA)

Cameron County, state and federal law enforcement agencies began a shutdown of all eight-liner establishments in the County Saturday upon the culmination of an 18-month criminal investigation known as Operation Bishop.
Five eight-liner establishments were raided: Pink Suite near La Feria; Lucky Place Arcade in Harlingen; Golden Arcade in Harlingen; M77 Game Room in Olmito; and Sahara Inn in Brownsville. There are none of these establishments within the city limits of La Feria. Eight arrests were made with owners and managers charged with various gambling violations and at least one arrestee charged with organized crime. The 456 seized machines will be forfeited and destroyed.

Operation Bishop will continue through December until all eight-liner establishments in the County are closed. Two hundred eight-liner establishments currently operate in the County. Property owners will also be placed on notice that they may face losing their properties if they continue to allow eight-liners in their buildings.
“The average eight-liner business generates thousands of dollars in revenue daily,” said District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.

Law enforcement officers remove money from eight-liner machines at the Sahara Inn in Brownsville Saturday during a raid. Operation Bishop began 18 months ago and will end once all of 200 establishments are closed in Cameron County. (Cameron County DA)

“This is revenue known to benefit organized crime. This is revenue that doesn’t benefit our community, because it’s not being spent in our community.”

It is estimated that the eight-liner industry generates at least $300 million annually. The money is known to leave the County and even Texas.

“When money stays in the community, sales tax revenue goes to your local governments and allows them to provide resources for you – better streets, more libraries, more services, etc. Let’s not forget job creation and sustainability,”

Saenz added. “I look forward to the day I can run a steam roller over them.”

Operation Bishop is the first operation of its kind in terms of number of agencies working together to curtail what is known as a criminal epidemic in Cameron County.

Agencies and entities participating in Operation Bishop are: Cameron County Judge’s Office and Cameron County Emergency Management; Cameron County District Attorney’s Office; Cameron Sheriff’s Department; Constables Offices; DEA; FBI; the Department of Homeland Security; Willacy County EMS; Brownsville PD; Harlingen PD; and San Benito PD.

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3 Responses to Operation Bishop to Banish Eight-Liners in Cameron County

  1. joseph Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 6:21 am

    when over 1600 workers, and over 2400 security now with out jobs not to mention sams, walmart, HEB, cooks, and bakeries out 100’s of thousands of dollars a year because saenz thinks that getting rid of gamerooms will be profit camron co. Little does he know all this will hit the county with the force of all the impacts of the nation in this economic blindsite, which at one point was un-touched in rio grande valley communities such as cameron county. But he will soon see how much money is actually leaving the county.

    • admin Reply

      May 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      The point, I think, was to curb gambling addiction… which is FAR more costly for families! HEB, WalMart and SAM’s Club are all extremely wealthy corporations. I don’t think they’ll be hurt by the closing of the eight-liners.

  2. Laura J Gore Reply

    October 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    looks like a bar inside resembles a bar they serve beethese machines are in every convenience store in limestone county most are owned by foreign people.and by a man named Donald Barker …he also ownes a bar in freestone county called D&RS…off I 45…they all pay out cash openly …now 2 more eight liner gambling rooms have opened up one man Owens by the name of shotty…that’s what I hear they call him .the game buildings are across the highway from each other in mexia Texas on highway 14…no names on buildings just a light on one …he has been robbed twice in the past week . .police won’t do anything about the gambling …anywhere in mexia …there is nothing for kids to do but Gamble and go to bars cause there are new ones opening up along with gambling stuff …a bar called the honey hole on 14 owner named Victor Garcia …does nothing but cater to the gambling ..outsider play pool have bands and mostly gamble ..he makes more money on the machines than he does serving alcohol ..I use to work there I quit because I refused to pay cash to people when they won on the machines …I had a tabc license I know my rules plus I don’t gamble at all and most of the customers were gambling not drinking beer I wasn’t making any tips because of that …they wouldn’t tip me because I wouldn’t give them cash …so anyways I quit..with a big argument …a man named Rodney Armstrong ownes the falcon and the cowboy club….he has private gambling parties at the cowboy ..big money only ..only certain people go.. it’s not a public thing …the police here are dirty they don’t try and stop it…they don’t care some gamble too..and they are paid off…the judges take bribes on criminal cases …I’m tired of the gambling and all the dirty officials …they don’t fix anything in this town empty buildings houses everywhere mostly because criminals are stripping all the copper out of em …and they no longer can be rented or sold till that’s fixed which costs alot of money…they opened a poker lounge out by lake mexia store…recently …I don’t even have to go see to know what I’d going on inside …nothing at all for kids ….they are rebuilding the McDonald’s saying it’s going to have a big play area in it …..ok. big deal ….everyone wonders why all the kids around here are growing up on drugs pills dying from overdoses …absolutely nothing at all for kids to do but get in trouble get high or steal ….y’all need to come here and wrap it up..make these officials do right by their community …everyone looks up to these men I have named .like they are upstanding law abiding citizens they are not …in the cowboy club in the back are rows of machines stored and card tables like you see on the boats that Rodney uses when he has his private gambling parties …they don’t help their community …or the kids growing up in it …they look down and judge the poor …the drug addicts ..the elderly and disabled ….there is corruption all over this town of mexia …I’m sick of it….

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