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FBI documents show widespread SW Missouri vice

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ Hundreds of pages of reports from an FBI investigation into illegal gambling in Joplin and the surrounding areas show a wide-ranging vice operation that involved influential people in southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas.

The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/SoJHN0) obtained more than 600 pages of documents in response to a Freedom of Information request the newspaper filed in 2012 because the investigation had led to the firing of a Joplin police officer and indictments against three bookmakers.

The documents reveal how the gambling investigation grew into a probe of drug trafficking, prostitution and public corruption.

Eventually the bookies pleaded guilty and received probation, a Kansas prosecutor pleaded guilty to extortion and a Joplin police officer was fired before the investigation closed in August 2011.

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