KNOX CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- Working fast, in less than 24 hours, Knox County Sheriff's deputies busted a gambling ring that was becoming well-known and dealing more than $40,000 in cash.
"It was a pretty sophisticated operation going on there," said Martha Dooley, a spokesperson from the KCSO. "We consider this a very significant raid. It's probably the biggest raid we've had in the past several years."
Around 8 p.m. Wednesday, officers raided 7311 Asheville Highway. "We had an undercover officer inside. We also had a search warrant. It was clear that we had an illegal gambling operation going on there."
Outside the building looks all but abandoned, but inside they found guns, drugs, alcohol and cash.
"We confiscated $42,000," she said, "We had eight gaming tables. Those were confiscated and those will most likely be destroyed at some point."
Among the chips, they found marijuana, Oxycontin, Oxycodone and a fridge full of beer, even game schedules posted on the walls.
"We found four weapons on four different people, now they did have permits but they are in an illegal establishment. It's now up to the state if they are going to revoke those permits or not," said Dooley.
Memberships called the place One-Eyed Jacks. Other paperwork says it's called Sack's. Ronald 'Sack' Micawber -- who leases the building -- was there. "They had absolutely no license to do anything there," said Dooley.
Among the 60 patrons on the scene, the doorman, former UT Police officer Ed Cummings, who was fired last year for protecting another gambling group.
"It's illegal activity that we've gotten away from that end of the county," she said.
Along the busy Asheville Highway, neighbors were shocked to learn that what they thought was an empty club was really a makeshift casino.
"Maybe it wasn't as empty as we thought it was," said Angie Smith. Smith works for Underwood Paving, run out of the Underwood's home just two doors down.
"Hadn't noticed a thing. Hadn't heard a sound from them, or seen anybody anything unusual," she said.
From the outside at the address, you can see only the marks of left behind businesses.
"It's been all kinds of things. It was a roundup club years ago," said Smith, "Lot of drinking and partying and stuff there. Most recently I guess it was some kind of golfers club. I don't know. There'd be yard sales out there, people would put up yard sales and stuff, but that's about it."
A big fence blocks the view of parking lot traffic. Across the street at B & B Metals, they say the building's driveway was always clear.
"I never seen nobody over there or any cars. I didn't know nothing was going on in there," said Jesse Allen.
Knox County Sheriff's deputies say it was neighbors complaints that led to the raid.
"This looked rather innocuous from the highway. But then when you went around the building. It was well concealed," said Dooley. "This was a sophisticated operation."
And while these folks told Volunteer TV they didn't know what was going on, they're glad to see it gone. "That's not really something you want in your neighborhood. You never know what could happen," said Smith.
Dooley says the investigation is ongoing, then all information will be passed to the district attorney's office to file charges. John Gill told Volunteer TV it won't be days, likely weeks before any arrests are made.