No trial

A retired Flint police chief has pleaded no contest to gambling violations and firearms charges and now faces up to five years in prison for allegedly operating an illegal gambling scheme. William-Bradford Barksdale filed his plea on Wednesday, according to an announcement from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

sentencing for the former police chief will take place on April 14

Barksdale was charged with gambling violations, which can be a five-year felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge for the reckless use of a firearm. The sentencing for the former police chief will take place on April 14 at the Genesee County Circuit Court.

The illegal operation

The 70-year-old’s co-accused are Adam Crossnoe and his father Alvin, who all ran the West Point Arcade in Flint. They were initially charged back in 2018. Adam Crossnoe pleaded guilty in October 2021 to a single count of gambling violations and got two years’ probation. Alvin Crossnoe pled guilty to a single count of attempted gambling violations.

suspected that illegal gambling was taking place at the premises

Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) regulation officers suspected that illegal gambling was taking place at the arcade. They visited the property multiple times in 2017 and were able to use computer stations to play casino-style games, with winnings paid out as generic gift cards. Undercover footage showed Adam Crossnoe instructing an officer on how to play the games.

This type of operation fell within the definition of gambling and the arcade did not have a license to offer such gambling services. Officials obtained a search warrant and found 80 firearms, eight of which were sawed-off shotguns.

A long-running relationship

MGCB executive director Henry Williams commented on the case, underlining the importance of eliminating all forms of illegal gambling operations in the state. He said that they “do not belong in our neighborhoods, where they bring unwanted crime and prey on senior citizens and other vulnerable people. We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation.”

Barksdale retired as Flint police chief in 2004. He seemingly had a long-standing relationship with the Crossnoes, being a regular player at the Palace Poker Room, which they owned. In 2009, Barksdale was at the poker room when he shot and killed a masked intruder who was allegedly attempting to rob the property. The former police chief was not charged with any wrongdoing in that particular case.

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