Friday, May 18, 2012

Prithee, attend: Lamp the goods, dig the scene...

Six Shooter eight-liner biz back in style

Waco – As a tax free business, it's not bad. A decent location can gross a cool 1 to 1.2 million per year with ease.

Masquerading as a smoke shop, a convenience store, a place to buy a beer or a jug, these places have bars on the windows, placards obsuring the view from outside, but allowing an attendant ample opportunity to see who is coming, the store fronts are spotted in strip malls throughout the city.

Let's take a look at 2516 W. Waco Drive, “Hookah City 1.”

The room where players operate the gambling machines has its windows masked by venetian blinds, the other, a merchandising room offering tobacco products, beverages and snacks, is a storefront with windows partially obscured by placards and signs.

You have to be buzzed inside the front door. Once inside, you may play to your heart's content. Credit may be arranged through jewelry pawn, car title loan, pay check loan, or other creative means of digging up some cash.

Free sodas, candy, snacks are part of the ambient appeal as patrons sit on swivel stools and dial up such games as keno, poker, black jack, and the like.

The machines blink, buzz, beep, and ring-a-ding-ding their robotic signals to the world – win, lose, or draw. Plenty of action, as low as 25 cents a pop.

It's a two-bit world that adds up to big cash – as much as $20,000 a machine each week. One may easily see there are in excess of 20 machines inside the room.

In the count room, observers watch carefully from behind one-way mirrors, surveil the scene on video screens, and load up couriers with bags of cash for deposit.

These places are routinely robbed – an event which is rarely reported to police.

Why bother? Is it a matter of record? Is the eight-liner business legal, or illegal? 

As they say in the big city, the information is classified. Unaccredited media need not apply. 

Then there is “Smoke City,” located near the corner of Sanger at Lake Air in a strip mall shared with a tattoo parlor and lots of vacant, dusty storefronts.

The matter is very political. A former principal for local global mortgage packager First City Financial Corporation, J.R. Hawkins is the campaign treasurer for the Randy Plemons for Sheriff Committee. He was for many years the treasurer for Buddy Skeen, McLennan County Tax Assessor-Collector, who is facing multiple indictments for fraudulent activities in his office accounts.


  1. What is even more amazing is that ITS JUST LIKE I SAID BEFORE,,,,the powers at be (comissioners, judges, and the Sheriff's office) are SOOOOOOO comfortable with you,,,the sheep of the county,,,NOT QUESTIONING THEIR AUTHORITY!!!!! Other wise,,,WHYYYYYYY would you have someone like this involved directly with your campaign???? Im not passing judgement on Hawkins on what he is involved in concerning the 8 liners,,,,,nope,,,,thats called rolling the dice and trying to beat the system and make some serious cash. You get caught at it sooner or later. I say people,,,,look deeper into the information. You cant control what Hawkins does no more than you can control a person that chooses to steal as a way of life. WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL (with your vote) is the people that represent YOU in office,,,(a) being involved and holding office and (b) thinking that you are nieve enough to allow it to go un-challenged. Its the same ole' "i can because im the lord of the manor" mentality. Face it,,,they think you are all that dumb. Skeen, Lewis, Lynch, and Plemons all suffer from it.... they believed that if you have a well known name (hawkins), linked with boo koo money in Mclennan County (hawkins),,,you will say "well he must have alot of backing and he must be the right guy".....get off your butts folks and dont miss your opportunity to finally make a difference...your neighbors, family and friends are depending on you. Send a message with your vote. Lynch saw this coming,,,thats why he suddenly decided to retire. Nobody gives up the throne when things are going well. Rumors in the air of exposure cuppled with the rumors of McNamara running made him make the wise decision,,,,get out while the house has a door. Plemons admitted the Sheriff sprung this "retirement" decision suddendly and "he thought he had more time" (said at the debate. What he didnt say is ," I only have 2 more years til IIIIII can retire as well and Lynch can carry the ball for me 4 more years. He never INTENDED ON RUNNING,,,he had no choice,,,either way he was done. His Flunkies underneath him?? how fast the attitudes change and they cut eachother's throat to try and hang on. No honor and no loyalty,,,every man for himself. And the current sheriff rides away,,,,un phased by the carnage. Cuz when you get right down to it,,,every person looks at someone in a fix,,,and a small part of them whispers,,,"well im just glad it aint me."

  2. It sounds like Chicago style politics right here in Waco. If any of this is true and it is very likely, the people of McLennan County have a Wolf pack guarding their chicken coup. But busting two little unofficial horse tracks in Axtell and Elm Mott seemingly run by a major crime syndicate appears to be a cover for much larger problems than racing horses. If an election were held today I'm sure we could have a little parimutual track here in Waco. I'm also sure the people would vote to legalize casino gambling. But then someone would have to pay taxes. Come to think about it marijuana is pretty much the same. A majority of the people would support legalization but the cartels, law enforcement, the liquor and drug companies would oppose it because they don't want to lose business are pay taxes. No different than prohibition is it? Hummm!

  3. Yes, 5:03 pm, you have a good idea of what really goes on here. I recall being told by a former DPS/Texas Ranger that a few years back (probably a decade or so) he was involved in a lengthy investigation of gambling-bookies and betting on sports games. However, when the names were revealed to be some of "the powers that be" in the community, they were told to go elsewhere. With these "vice wars" they wage, including the one on drugs, we have to remind ourselves that those who oppose it may have a little voice in the back of their head that says, "If we stop the war, what will I do all day?"

  4. Speaking of Chicago style politics, I will be watching to see how many dearly departed will be voting for Plemons this election. Since Plemons seems to be pulling out the stops for every sidewinding, underhanded, and even illegal move this election, It wouldn't surprise me to see my grandfather vote for the first time in 30 years.

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