Socorro Demolishes Slot Machines

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 4:31pm

SOCORRO- It was a great day for some demolition today.  Two dozen slot machines seized by police from an illegal gambling ring bit the dust this morning in Socorro.

Cracking plastic and busting glass. That's all that's left of an illegal gambling ring busted by Socorro police over a year ago.  A booming bulldozer and a swinging sledghammer made quick work of the contraband.

"Officers started an investigation at the 10600 block of North Loop.  They found there was illegal gambling going on there," said Lieutenant Edmundo Montoya.

Before 'Operation Stomp the Slots' started up, 24 machines were trucked in, all intact.  They've been in a warehouse for a year now, with the city trying to figure out just what to do with them.

"We looked into the law to see if we could sell them, see if we could use them in any other way and we're not permitted to do that," said Acting City Manager Manny Soto.

Gambling is illegal in Texas, so city governments can't profit off of it in any way.  That means Socorro can't sell the machines, which leaves only one option.

"Now as per law, we're required to destroy them," said Soto.

And destory them they did.  A heavy blade mashed them up good.  Quite the sight, and while serious during our interviews, it seemed even law enforcement had a little bit of fun.

But all the fun and games served a serious purpose.

"We want to show the city of Socorro, the citizens, and everybody else that we won't tolerate any kind of illegal activity in the city," said Lieutenant Montoya.

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