Florida Gaming Arcade Plot Allegedly Used Jamming Devices To Defraud Machines

Posted on: May 13, 2021, 02:59h. 

Last updated on: May 14, 2021, 02:03h.

A plot to allegedly deploy jamming devices to steal thousands of dollars from gaming machines in Florida arcades located in Columbia County has been uncovered. One suspect remains on the loose and four others were arrested.

A fifth suspect remains at large
Four suspects in mug shots arrested for Florida gaming arcade alleged scam. Top row: From left, Brandon Walls and Jordan Stoney. Bottom row: Gabrien Brooks and Khadijah Thomas. (Image: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office)

County sheriff’s deputies arrested three men and a woman in two incidents late last week. They are charged with fraud, according to WJXT, a Florida TV station.

They were identified as Gabrien Brooks, 25, Jordan Stoney, 23, Khadijah Thomas, 27, and Brandon Walls, 31, WJXT said. Each of the four Charlotte, N.C., residents posted bail which was set between $35,000 and $45,000. Their cases will be heard in local courts.

Last Thursday, Brooks and Stoney showed up at a Columbia County arcade. The pair allegedly used an electronic jamming device to transmit a signal to the gaming machines.

Through the signal, the duo allegedly tricked the machines to show fraudulent winnings, according to WJXT. An arcade manager saw the two were using the jamming device and then tried to collect $900 at a gaming table, WJXT added, based on deputies’ reports.

The manager then called 911 to report the incident. He and the arcade security staff locked the doors. That way, the men were trapped until officers arrived.

Deputies recovered a jamming device from the men. Deputies also seized a large sum of cash. The manager at the arcade further claimed to remember Brooks and Stoney from another gaming site.

8K Defrauded From Arcade

The night before, the duo allegedly defrauded gaming machines out of $8,000 while at the other arcade, the manager told deputies.

A similar plot arose at another arcade last Thursday. In that incident, three people used a jamming device. Walls, Thomas, and a third person repeatedly cashed out tickets worth over $100, deputies said. In total, the trio allegedly defrauded the arcade out of more than $2,200.

Walls and Thomas still were at the arcade when deputies arrived. During a search of their car, deputies spotted six devices that appeared to be used for electronic jamming.

“The investigation initially began as a disturbance call when some of the suspects were caught by an employee using the devices,” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steven Khachigan told Casino.org. “From there, detectives became involved and the investigation lasted about two days.”

Khachigan also told WJXT that such arcades are a “soft target,” and have a lot of cash on hand. In this case, the five suspects had a “very well-thought-out plan,” he added.

Simulated Gambling Machines Banned in Jacksonville

In nearby Jacksonville, Fla. simulated gambling machines at arcades were basically banned in 2019. That led to the closure of many of these local arcades.

The arcades were considered a “public nuisance” by city officials because they allegedly attracted crime.

Elsewhere, the use of electronic jamming devices has been seen in gaming arcades in recent years. For instance, two men were arrested in 2019 for using one at a Raleigh, N.C., arcade to steal $6,800, according to WNCN, a local TV station.