Ex-Fort Worth officer who tipped off gambling operators released from prison early

11/26/2013 3:44 PM

11/26/2013 5:30 PM

A former Fort Worth police officer who was sentenced to four years in prison in May was ordered released Tuesday after being granted shock probation.

Edward Boyd Adcock, 52, of Hudson Oaks pleaded guilty in March to tipping off operators of the Aces Wired eight-liner parlors and advising them on how to circumvent the law.

Dallas-based Aces Wired ran gambling rooms statewide, and many were raided May 21, 2008.

Shock probation is typically granted to first offenders who might be dissuaded from further crimes after a short prison stay. Adcock, who was a police officer from February 1981 until he retired in February 2008, served less than six months in prison.

Law enforcement officials said that when the raid went down, they found five Aces Wired employees but had expected 30. Officers reviewed footage from a hidden surveillance camera and saw executives removing equipment, machines being moved and evidence disappearing four days before the raid, according to testimony.

When state District Judge Louis Sturns handed down the four-year sentence, he called Adcock’s behavior reprehensible.

“What bothers me about your situation is those of us that work in this line of work — prosecutors, judges, officers — we have a duty that is different than that of the general population,” Sturns said.

“It would be just as bad if a judge would tip off someone that he had signed a search warrant. That would cause the whole system to collapse as well as endanger the officers serving the warrant.”

Sturns was sick Monday and did not attend the hearing in state District Judge Wayne Salvant’s court where Adcock’s probation was approved. Salvant could not be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said Adcock received up to $6,750 monthly and a total of more than $70,000 from an attorney for Aces Wired in exchange for his services.

Adcock’s sentence was stiffer than those given to Aces Wired executives, who cut deals with prosecutors and received deferred-adjudication probation. Other Aces Wired employees had their cases dismissed.

“The defense filed a motion requesting Adcock be granted shock probation after he served nearly six months in prison,” according to a statement from Lloyd Whelchel, the Tarrant County prosecutor who tried the case. “We opposed the motion and asked the court to reconsider all of the evidence that was heard during his sentencing in May. The court granted the defense motion for shock probation over our objections.”

Adcock’s attorney, Michael Heiskell, said he is pleased that his client can spend the holidays with his family.

Adcock “will be released to probation in the morning,” Heiskell said. “The decision came down around noon, too late to get him released today. All things being equal, it’s likely a layperson would have received a probated sentence, but I understand there was a message in the ruling that said that this was not to be tolerated.”

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