A 67-year-old woman was behind bars Wednesday after police arrested and charged her with operating a gambling establishment in Killeen.

Police charged Mal Ye Ray with possession of gambling equipment, keeping a gambling place and gambling promotion for allegedly using her rug business as a front for operating a gambling establishment.

A confidential informant alerted police to a gambling establishment being run by a Korean woman with a small dog in the back of Rug Towne and Gifts in the 400 block of East Rancier Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit. The informant told police there were several “eight liners” — sweepstakes machines similar to slot machines — inside.

Over about three weeks, an officer performed surveillance of the business, taking pictures of the proprietor, later identified as Ray, enter and exit the business with her small dog.

The officer also ran the license plates of several regular visitors to the business. Many were associated with people who had been involved with gambling establishments in the past, the affidavit stated.

On Tuesday, police entered the business. Ray refused to speak to police; however, customers there said they had been going to the gambling business since 2007, the affidavit stated.

They told police Ray would pay out cash to winning customers from a stash of money in the back office.

Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke arraigned Ray on Wednesday, setting her bail at $15,000.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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