Deputies conduct gambling raid at West Knox County home

Deputies conduct gambling raid at West Knox County home

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By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A gambling raid was conducted at a West Knox County home Wednesday night by the sheriff's office as deputies continue their illegal gambling investigations.

This recent bust is just the latest in a string of raids focused on eliminating all illegal gambling operations in Knox County.

Officials say they went into the Bexhill Subdivision home around 9 p.m. The house is located in the 1300 block of Buxton Drive, which is just off Ebenezer Road.

"Not in a neighborhood, that's ridiculous," said neighbor Barbara Muncy.

She says it's hard to believe, but the sheriff's office says deputies found a total of eight people playing poker around one gaming table inside the home. Approximately $1,000 in cash was confiscated.

"I am not running an illegal poker establishment out of my house," said Maria Wanderlingh.

She says she wasn't home when the deputies searched her house. She disputes that there were eight people in her home playing poker.

Instead she says there were six people and that only three were playing a familiar card game. She admits she has a passion for poker, but says the fun ends there.

"What is illegal about having a game at your house with your friends? We usually will play in tournaments. A tournament may be a $10 tournament per person and that covers food," said Wanderlingh.

The sheriff's office said on Friday officials couldn't talk about any of the cases specifically because they are ongoing investigations, but they did say they are going after operations with substantial amounts of money involved.

When 6 News asked Wanderlingh if she was profiting from the poker games she denied it. "No I don't make money out of this, no," Wanderlingh said.

6 News also asked about the heavy traffic neighbors say is always coming and going from Wanderlingh's home.

"There are four people living in my house so if you come and visit me and another person visits the house, it's going to look like a lot of people," said Wanderlingh.

She and the others involved in the raid were not arrested, but the case has been turned over to the Knox County District Attorney General's Office.

She says she plans to fight any charges if they come.

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