Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputies foiled an attempted burglary at the American Legion Post No. 88 in Corbin Tuesday after responding to a call about 16 minutes after midnight.

“We got there and found the back door pried open,” said Deputy Mike Hamblin. “Upon entering we saw a male subject with a screwdriver attempting to take money from the poker machines. He was attempting to leave with a 30-pack of Bud Light.”

James Scott Shelby, 20, of Corbin, was initially charged with burglary and possession of burglar’s tools. A subsequent search at the Laurel County Detention Center revealed marijuana hidden in the crotch area of his pants, Hamblin said, and charges of first-degree promoting contraband, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia were added.

Authorities believe the Legion was not targeted as any sort of statement.

“I believe he knew the poker machines were there and the opportunity for money was present,” Hamblin said. “He just said that he was guilty of doing it and that he was doing it to try to obtain money for drugs.”

Hamblin said Shelby indicated he was not involved in a prior break-in at the Legion earlier this month.

The only apparent damages were to the lock and door, Hamblin said.

“We can forgive them for the crime but they’ll have to do the time,” said Post Commander Doc Butler. “Anybody who makes a mistake, they have to go back and make amends for it.”

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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