Officers testify that ex Fort Worth vice cop tipped eight-liner owners to raid

Posted Friday, May. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A former Fort Worth police officer was serving two masters when he tipped off gambling executives that authorities were about to carry out simultaneous raids of their game rooms across the state, officers who participated in the raids testified Thursday.

The law enforcement personnel said they believe that Edward Boyd Adcock was the reason the raid did not produce more tangible results.

Adcock pleaded guilty in March to a charge of official misuse of information but denied disclosing information about the raids. State District Judge Louis Sturns was asked to decide his punishment. The range is deferred adjudication probation to 10 years in prison.

If Adcock receives deferred adjudication probation and successfully complies with the terms, he would not have a conviction on his record.

Sturns is hearing testimony about whether Adcock, 52, warned local gaming company officials that their eight-liner sites were about to be raided.

Aces Wired, a multimillion dollar Dallas-based corporation that ran eight-liner game rooms statewide, including five in Tarrant County, went out of business after the raid on March 21, 2008. Some Aces Wired employees made deals with prosecutors for deferred adjudication probation, and some cases against employees were dismissed.

Adcock’s attorney, Michael Heiskell, presented evidence that suggested that the leak tipping Aces Wired officials to the raid could have come from someone other than his client.

Also, Heiskell said, both full-time and reserve police officers are allowed to seek second jobs to supplement their incomes.

While questioning Knowles Cornwell, Aces Wired’s former chief executive officer, Heiskell said that a former Houston police officer who died in 2007 also served as a consultant for the gambling operation.

Adcock “told you he would arrest you himself if he ever caught you doing anything illegal, didn’t he?” Heiskell asked.

Cornwell replied that was true.

Adcock was a police officer from February 1981 until he retired in February 2008, and he remained a reserve officer until resigning that fall. Prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel argued that Adcock was a full-time police officer when he started working with Aces Wired as an independent contractor for their attorney, John Steven Fenoglio. Fenoglio, who was indicted on bribery charges, is awaiting trial in the case.

Whelchel presented evidence that Adcock was a reserve officer when the raids in which he participated occurred in multiple counties across the state. With five eight-liner sites, one that contained more than 100 machines, Tarrant County was the biggest target, according to testimony from undercover officers who also participated in the raid.

“We cut out the Fort Worth police [from the investigation] because we wanted to make our own decision on whether what they were doing was legal,” said an undercover officer who worked in the operation.

Law enforcement personnel set up a surveillance camera in one of the eight-liner establishments where they planned to serve a search warrant, according to testimony from a Dallas vice officer. When the raid took place, authorities were disappointed.

“We were hoping to find the employees we saw working there every day,” the officer said. “Instead of 30 plus, we only found five that day.”

The Star-Telegram is not naming the officer because he works undercover.

Company executives were sitting around a table waiting for them, the officer testified. One woman watched the front so she could call bondsmen and attorneys when police arrived, he testified. The officers went back and reviewed the images from the surveillance camera they had hidden and saw executives taking out equipment, machines being moved and evidence disappearing four days before the raid, the officer testified.

“We set up some undercover agents inside the establishments about 30 minutes before the operation and officials told workers that a search warrant was coming down and everyone had to leave,” an undercover officer testified.

Testimony continues today in Sturns’ 213th state district court.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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