DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The Department of Revenue says it has arrested one of its own staff members in a series of gambling raids.
Only Channel 2 Action News was there Friday as police led the man away in handcuffs.
An agent told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that Ronald Huckaby had his Georgia Department of Revenue ID in his pocket when revenue investigators arrested him.
Winne was waiting for him at the Bibb County Jail as agents brought Huckaby in to be processed and questioned him.
“Mr. Huckaby, Mark Winne from Channel 2. Did you break the law?” Winne said.
Huckaby nodded no.
“I hate to ask you this, but were you on the take?” Winne asked Huckaby.
Again, Huckaby nodded no.
Department of Revenue Special Investigations Director Josh Waites confirms Huckaby is accused of being in the pocket of a key suspect in a big gambling machine investigation.
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A document contains allegations that Huckaby accepted five sets of round-trip airline tickets and a $13,000 Hublot watch “in return for influence and information.”
“It’s disturbing anytime a law enforcement agent stops being an agent of the state and instead is alleged to have become an agent of a criminal enterprise,” Macon District Attorney David Cooke said.
Cooke said Huckaby faces a racketeering charge and allegedly did the bidding of a key player in a network that supplied coin operated amusement machines to roughly 70 stores that paid out in cash, which is against the law.
“There are criminal organizations that are operating just like the ones alleged here, and they're throughout the state,” Cooke said.
He said the Department of Revenue and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been key partners with Cooke's office in the investigation, which also involves money laundering and tax evasion.
“They’ve come at this with a dogged determination,” Cooke told Winne.
Waites said days ago he and a GBI agent interviewed Huckaby, who oversaw two enforcement offices for the alcohol tobacco division, and the next day he resigned.
“Temptation exists, but we hold all of our employees to the highest standards,” said State Revenue Commissioner David Curry. “No one is above the law.
Curry said he's been told Huckaby may have changed after a family tragedy.
Waites said Huckaby is accused of using some of his agents -- who did nothing wrong -- to investigate his benefactor's competitors and revealed private information to him.
Cooke said if other law enforcement officers are in the gambling industry's pocket, they should go to the GBI before investigators come to them.
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