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November 2--  Money realized as a result of video machine gambling raids in March of 2010 is being distributed to law enforcement departments in Toombs County, Vidalia and Lyons by Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Hayward Altman.

The departments assisted the DA in raids on 20 convenience stores in Toombs County.  Nine raids were also made in Emanuel County.

Altman estimates the Toombs raids grossed nearly $2 million with a one-third commission paid to an Atlanta law firm which assisted in the prosecution.  Tuesday he reported he plans to disburse $250,000 to the East Central Georgia Drug Task Force, $175,000 to the Vidalia Police Department, a yet-to-be determined amount to the Lyons Police Department and $75,691 for the purchase of three trucks by the Toombs County Sheriff's Office. (Photo courtesy Kathy Bradford)

{mosimage}"It means a lot," says Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight, "It doesn't come out of my budget and these trucks were certainly needed.  Our investigators vehicles had over 200,000 miles and we were down to almost walking, so it came at a very good time." The District Attorney (left) presented a check to Sheriff Kight to pay for the new trucks which arrived at the Toombs County Sheriff's Office. 

The Vidalia Police Department plans to buy a patrol car and training simulators for driving and firearms with its allocation.

Altman says his office and other agencies will share over $300,000 and other funds which are still tied up in the courts.

"Every bit of the money we are giving back to law enforcement came from illegal activity.  We had people who were benefitting greatly from illegal activity and one of the best ways for the public to recoup some of the money is by RICO action," Altman says.