Former Smithville police chief arrested in illegal gambling bust

An illegal gambling crackdown in Bastrop County and Fayette County led to the arrest of a former Smithville police chief, Michael Maugere. 

"I want to remind everyone that gambling is illegal in Texas. It’s illegal to not only promote gambling it’s illegal to participate," said Maurice Cook the Bastrop County Sheriff.

Along with 54-year-old Maugere, 36-year-old Chasity Robinson and 35-year-old Michael Burgess we’re arrested in connection to the operation.

For the past three months, the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office was working alongside the Fayette County Sheriff's Office on two gambling locations. One on the outskirts of Smithville and the other in La Grange

Both are believed to be run by the same people. "We sent undercover agents in, we looked at the operation. We met with the district attorneys in both counties and we had decided that it was an illegal gambling operation," said Sheriff Cook.

Law enforcement was able to confiscate the money as well as the machines used in both locations. Sheriff Maurice Cook spoke to FOX 7 Austin about their undercover investigation. He said these locations offered cash to those participating. 

"There wasn’t any other compensation besides cash, there were no prizes. They called it a sweepstake but you can call it whatever you wanna call it but it’s still going to be illegal gambling."

Bastrop County is no stranger to illegal gambling, Sheriff Cook said it’s important to stop these operations quickly before they get out of hand. 

"All crimes in Texas are important to law enforcement. If we let it grow in one area you can expect to grow in another area it’s just like cancer it will spread everywhere."

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