Ala. AG's office unseals Victoryland search warrant documents - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL


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Ala. AG's office unseals Victoryland search warrant documents

Judge Young's hand-written note Judge Young's hand-written note

The Alabama Attorney General's office unsealed the documents Wednesday that gave some insight into the process that led to Tuesday's raid on Victoryland gaming facility in Macon County.

A review of the documents, more than 200 pages in totality, shows that the search warrant was requested by Attorney General Luther Strange, but it took involvement from the state's highest court before it was approved.

It's was one of the most troubling issues for Victoryland's attorneys, who were not provided access to the sealed documents Tuesday as their client's facility was raided and secured by agents of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

[DOCUMENT: Judge Tom Young's response to Alabama Supreme Court (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: State's reply in support of Writ of Mandamus (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: State's Emergency Appeal for Writ of Mandamus (Lays Out Evidence) (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: Alabama Supreme Court's order of Writ of Mandamus (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: Victoryland Search Warrant (.pdf)]

More than 24 hours after the search warrant was executed, gaming machines are still being hauled out of the bingo facility. Alabama State Troopers remain at their posts, blocking entrance to the site.

While it's a new day, the same questions involving the search warrant remain. Those documents, now unsealed, reveal the unprecedented chain of events that led to the eventual raid.

We know the evidence presented to the courts to obtain the warrant included the Cornerstone rules for bingo and undercover video taken by investigators, among many other exhibits.

Circuit Judge Tom Young denied the affidavit, citing a lack of probable cause. The Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously agreed with his ruling. The Alabama Supreme Court, however, filed an order forcing Judge Young to sign the warrant.

Judge young expressed his reluctance to sign the warrant. In a hand-written note at the bottom of the document he said he would follow the high court's order, but he did so with "the greatest judicial reluctance."

Former Attorney General Troy King, says the court's behavior is unlike any he's witnessed in the state's courts. "Very troubling issues at play here," he said. As the Supreme Court takes a strong stance on the issue, King believes the only immediate recourse is in federal court.

Wednesday, a request was sent again regarding an interview with the attorney general, who is out of town. Even an offer to meet him personally in New Orleans was denied.

There's no quick solution. Unsealed documents, new questions, and another day without power, games and jobs for those at Victoryland.

A Civil Rights rally has been called for Thursday afternoon at the Macon County Courthouse. The protest, in regards to Victoryland, is being called by the Tuskegee-Macon County NAACP branch.

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