10 arrested in Wake poker raids

August 1, 2011 9:40:25 AM PDT
Agents with the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement say they've raided high-stakes poker operations at homes in Raleigh and Wendell. Ten people are charged and nearly $200,000 seized.

Jeff Lasater, special agent in charge for ALE, said agents acted after getting complaints from citizens.

Homes were searched at ,4029 Strickland Farm Road and 6909 Breckenridge Ave., both of Raleigh, and a cabin at 6424 Robertson Pond Road in Wendell.

Lasater said the investigation uncovered a complex gambling enterprise involving "sports betting and high stakes poker complete with barricaded doors, armed security, and elaborate surveillance equipment."

Items seized included poker and craps tables, computer and surveillance equipment, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an AR-15 assault rifle.

The following people were charged with misdemeanor violations:

  • Ryan Michael Lewis, 32, of 1442 Kent Road, Raleigh – operate a game of chance at which money was bet and allow the operation of an illegal game of chance.
  • Justin Carl Turner, 23, of 508 Heather Drive, Raleigh – operate a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Sonny Pierce, 29, of 3636 Kemp Drive, Knightdale – operate a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Priestly Early Pierce, 75, of 3636 Kemp Drive, Knightdale – operate a game of chance at which money was bet and keep and use a gaming table (craps table).
  • Eddie Lee Elks Jr., 56, of 602 Park Ave., Roanoke Rapids – play a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Donald Ray Daniels, 61, of 141 White Oak Road, Enfield – play a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Sonja Kay Stone, 50, of 5609 Laniel Court, Raleigh – allow the operation of an illegal game of chance.
  • Leonard Wiggins, 73, of 823 Leggett Road, Rocky Mount – play a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Michael Lee Brown, 47, of 72 Shady Lake Road, Tarboro – play a game of chance at which money was bet.
  • Harold William Elliot, 72, of 6909 Breckenridge Ave., Raleigh – operate a game of chance at which money was bet.

Lasater said more gambling and drug-related charges are expected in the case.

ALE is a division of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

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