LEVELLAND, Texas — Hockley County Sheriff Ray Scifres confirmed an eyewitness account that law enforcement raided game rooms in and around Levelland on Wednesday.
Officials scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. to provide more information. (Please use the video player above to see a replay.)
A media advisory described the situation as “a multi-stage takedown operation.”
It was actually two operations at the same time with local officials focused on promotion of gambling and possession of a controlled substance. The FBI said its operation included Levelland, Morton and Brownfield. Federal court records mentioned methamphetamine.
Scifres said 11 persons were arrested in one part of the operation. The FBI said 13 arrests were made in another part of the operation. Scifres said five were already in custody. Scifres said the total would be 11, plus 5 plus 13 (which would be 29). That number was expected to increase as more suspects were found.
“There’s just a couple of targets that we did not locate at some of the locations, there are additional warrants that will be put out,” Scifres said.
“We hit seven game rooms, in and around Levelland,” Scifres said. “Locations include Opdyke West and the City of Anton. The remaining five are here in Levelland.”
“This has been a year in the making,” Scifres said.
FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge James Dwyer described the situation as a “large scale” drug trafficking operation.
UPDATED STORY: Names, charges released after game room raids in Hockley Co.
Dwyer said, “Approximately 150 personnel executed this operation. This is significant or significant operational response was done with protecting the community in mind.”
Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia said, “We can’t do this job without the partnerships that we have developed with all these outstanding agencies.”
DPS spokesman Johnny Bures said, “We’re all working together to make sure that our community members are safe.”
Dwyer said some details were not available yet until the case gets further along.