A New Year’s Eve shots fired complaint led the Perry County Sheriff’s Office to raid an alleged illegal gambling operation and charge four people with committing various crimes.

According to court documents written by Perry County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Campbell, at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 31, he responded to a “shots fired” complaint at the intersection of Combs Road and Crawford Mountain and located a black Chevrolet Tahoe matching the description of the one involved in the shooting.

The shooting, Campbell wrote, had occurred at a publicly-open illegal gambling establishment on Combs Road.

While investigating, Campbell wrote, he learned that John Sexton, 33, of Laurel Mountain Road, Yerkes, had fired the gun then sent William T. Baldwin, 40, of Ky. 15, Jackson, inside the gambling establishment to sell it.

Campbell wrote that he went into the establishment and located Baldwin, who appeared intoxicated and initially said he knew nothing of the incident. Baldwin later led an officer with the Hazard Police Department to a mop bucket in which he had hidden the firearm.

The shooting, Campbell wrote, had occurred along a busy stretch of roadway and had possibly endangered passing motorists, as well as the initial caller, who had been walking by when the shots were fired.

Campbell wrote in court documents that the establishment involved in the incident is a known illegal gambling location. During the course of the investigation, he wrote, he spoke with a female, who was recorded on a body camera, admitting she had received payouts from the establishment.

Campbell called for backup, documents said, and once they were on-scene, he had an employee call the owners — Billy W. Young, 54, of Young Street, Hazard, and Alvin Miller, 52, of Ky. 15, Hazard, who consented to a search of the premises.

During the search, Campbell wrote, officers found and seized ledgers showing amounts of money obtained from illegal gambling. In addition, he wrote, they found 45 gambling machines, which contained a total of $512. Another $803, he wrote, was located in the reception area of the establishment and $766 was discovered inside of a machine in the back room.

In addition, Campbell wrote, officers seized a money counter and pills.

Miller and Young, documents show, were cited on misdemeanor charges of permitting gambling, possession of a gambling device and second-degree promoting gambling. Both are scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 23.

Baldwin was lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail on charges of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, tampering with physical evidence and public intoxication, while Sexton was lodged in the jail on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Both were scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 3. The results of the arraignment were not available as of presstime Jan. 4.

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