North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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February 7, 2013

Carl Scoggins sentenced in Kimberly gambling and bribery case

BIRMINGHAM — Another defendant in the federal investigation of gambling and bribery in Kimberly has been sentenced.

Carl E. Scoggins of Gardendale will spend nine months in jail, and then serve another nine months of home detention, according to the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge David Proctor on Thursday. Scoggins will also pay a fine of $7,500 and perform 60 hours of community service. Proctor also ordered Scoggins to have no involvement with illegal gambling or gambling devices, and to pass his general education development (GED) tests.

Scoggins made a plea deal in the ongoing investigation of gambling and bribery in Kimberly in 2010, which is based around electronic surveillance from a concealed recording device worn by then-mayor Craig Harris. Those recordings show, according to federal prosecutors, that Harris was paid bribes by a group of men who were operating illegal slot or bingo machines in houses in or near Kimberly. In return for the bribes, Harris was to make sure Kimberly police did not interfere with the operations.

Prosecutors said that Scoggins was the one who first offered Harris the bribes. They pressed Proctor for a tougher sentence, but defense attorney Tommy Spina asked for a sentence along the lines of what Kyle Sloan had received — jail time to be served over 14 weekends — so that Scoggins could continue to run his business.

“We accept the judge’s sentence as reasonable and fair in light of all of the facts and circumstances of this case,” Spina said in a statement afterward. “Carl Scoggins is a hardworking family man with a good heart. I think the judge balanced that against the facts of the case to arrive at what we feel is an appropriate sentence.”

Scoggins formerly owned a convenience store in Warrior. During Thursday’s sentencing, Spina said that Scoggins now operates a barbecue stand near Sayre, and that his house is in foreclosure.

Scoggins is one of six men who arranged a plea deal in the case, along with Sloan. Adam McGraw, Daniel “Boone” Stone, Robert Taylor and Lynwood Taylor await sentencing.

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