published Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Polk County bar owner arrested in raid

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    Billy Wilcox, 50, of Old Fort, Tenn. He was arrested March 5, 2011, and charged with gambling promotion, possession of gambling devices, unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages and unlawful storage of liquor for sale.

Polk County deputies made one arrest Saturday night during a raid at Boogies tavern, where alcoholic drinks were being served and gambling machines were housed, authorities said.

Deputies hit Boogies between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. Saturday when an estimated 30 to 50 people were present at the bar in the Oldfort community, in the south end of the county, Sheriff Bill Davis said Monday.

The owner of the bar, Billy Wilcox, 50, of Oldfort, was charged with gambling promotion, possession of gambling devices, unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages and unlawful storage of liquor for sale, jail officials said Monday.

The sale of liquor is illegal in Polk County.

Wilcox is free on $2,500 bond and faces an arraignment Wednesday in General Sessions Court, jail officials said.

No one else has been charged, officials said.

The sheriff said investigators acted on a tip that liquor by the drink and illegal gambling were available at Wilcox’s tavern.

“The containers we found were empty,” Davis said of bottles of alcohol at the tavern. “But there were some drinks on the bar that had already been mixed.”

Officers seized four video poker machines, he said.

Davis said the bar was busy when officers got there.

“It’s a small bar. It was pretty close to capacity,” he said.

Davis said he was not aware of previous problems at the tavern.

He said investigators are still determining whether pay-offs were being issued on the poker machines.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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