Sweepstakes parlors run out of luck

March 25, 2013 9:00:00 PM PDT
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Department is shutting down sweepstakes parlors one by one.

They are making arrests, and confiscating equipment with the help of the Fayetteville, Hope Mills and Spring Lake Police Departments.

Six warrants were out Tuesday for sweepstakes parlors across the county, and Sheriff Moose Butler said this is just the start.

Tuesday morning, the Little Vegas Sweepstakes City locations were the first places undercover agents began arrests and tagging video poker and sweepstakes game machines.

Butler said his department has been warning the sweepstakes parlors for over a month that it was time to shut down, and now that the Supreme Court ruling has dropped, Butler said it's time to enforce the law.

"We visited this place before. We knew they were illegal," said Butler. "They didn't make any bones about it. They just left them. They had an opportunity to move them out."

Eight search warrants were issued Tuesday and at least five people were arrested on electornic sweepstakes, operating video gaming machine and allowing faming tables charges.

Richard Preston Lane, 45, of Hope Mills, Victoria Michelle Page, 30 of Fayetteville, Jennifer Elizabeth Jones, 24, of St. Pauls, Larry Richard Freman, Jr., 37, of Hope Mills, and Justin Brent Freeman, 30, of Hope Mills have all been released from the Cumberland County Detention under bond.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Butler said he expects three more sweepstakes businesses to be shut down Wednesday with more raids in the coming days.

Owners and employees of sweepstakes parlors could face felony charges that could lead to several years in jail according to the county attorney.

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