NEW ALBANY, Ind. — The owner of a Jeffersonville, Ind., auto shop and seven other Louisville-area men were arrested Wednesday on federal charges alleging they ran an interstate sports bookmaking operation.
The men were indicted May 23, but the charges were sealed until Wednesday, according to federal court records filed in Indianapolis.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said at a news conference in New Albany that authorities seized more than $126,000 in cash, several bars of pure silver, real estate and vehicles as a result of the 18-month investigation by federal, state and local officers.
The chief defendant named in the indictment is Terry Crofford, 60, owner of TC Auto Center in Jeffersonville. Media outlets in Louisville and southern Indiana reported last week that the FBI, state and local police raided his business May 22.
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The indictment alleges the men operated an illegal gambling business out of various locations in Jeffersonville, across the Ohio River from Louisville, since at least January 2009. Prosecutors say the ring handled thousands of dollars of wagers on a daily basis.
"Crime almost always begets more crime, and under-the-table bookmaking like what has been alleged often acts as a magnet for other illegal activities," Hogsett said in a statement. "Just as important, illegal gambling operations deny Hoosiers in southern Indiana the tax revenues they deserve."
The other suspects were identified as: Jamie Duley, 54, of Jeffersonville; James Baker, 62, of Clarksville, Ind.; George Blair, 53, of Jeffersonville; Steven Harkins, 55, of Louisville; Jeffrey Hash, 61, of Louisville; James Payne,44, of Pleasureville, Ky.; and Harold Joyce, 44, of Louisville.
Prosecutors said that if convicted, each man could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Court records did not list defense attorneys for any of the men.
A phone call to TC Auto Center went unanswered Wednesday.
The investigation included the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, the Indiana Gaming Commission, Indiana State Police and Jeffersonville police.