AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Dozens of law enforcement officers have seized about 200 illegal gambling machines in Sampson County.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that more than 40 state Alcohol Law Enforcement and local sheriff’s deputies seized sweepstakes and video poker machines in the community of Autryville on Thursday.
The raids followed undercover investigations of five businesses in the area.
James Locklear, the ALE special agent in charge, said that last summer agents visited three of the locations and issued a warning letter telling them to shut down the illegal gambling. He says they did so for a time, but then resumed the gambling activities.
Thursday’s raid resulted in charges against eight people.
Jeffrey Scott Smith, 45, listed as the owner of Clinton Overstock, located at 912 S. East Boulevard in Clinton, was one of the eight arrested during the raid. He currently serves as town commissioner in Dublin, WECT reported.
Smith was charged with:
Feloniously operating 5 or more server-based gaming machines (2 counts)
Feloniously possessing 5 or more server-based gaming machines (2 counts)
Place in operation an electronic machine to promote a sweepstakes through a display (4 counts)
Gambling (2 counts)
Smith is facing similar charges in Columbus and Bladen counties. He was arrested in 2014 after the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office raided a store he owned in Whiteville.
Smith was also arrested in May after authorities raided stores three stores in Bladen County, WECT reported.
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