Deputies raid Durham sweepstakes cafe

Durham sheriff's deputies raided an Internet sweepstakes café on Westgate Drive and arrested its manager Quiang Zheng. (Images courtesy: Durham County Sheriff's Office)

December 13, 2013 1:00:20 PM PST
Durham deputies raided an Internet sweepstakes café Thursday night after the café continued to operate despite receiving several warnings.

When deputies arrived at Sweepstakes City on Westgate Drive they found 18 customers inside. There were several employees working and hundreds of gaming computers.

The café's manager, Quiang Zheng, 56, of 1838 Glendale Ave, Philadelphia, Pa., was arrested and has been charged with two counts of felony operating more than five video gaming machines and two counts of felony operating an electronic sweepstakes. He is being held in the Durham County Jail under a $10,000 bond.

"Sweepstakes City is the fifth Internet cafe my deputies have shut down since April. Despite what sweepstakes owners and customers might believe, these establishments are illegal," Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said. "We started by asking them to close, and when they didn't, it left us with no choice but to enforce the laws enacted by the state legislature; and that means we seize equipment and cash, and criminally charge owners, operators and customers in the process."

During the raid, deputies seized 12 slot machines, 89 network-based gaming computer monitors and $20,359 cash. They also charged 18 customers with misdemeanor gambling. The customers were charged on-site and released.

An investigation into the café's ownership is still underway and additional charges are pending.

Sheriff's deputies previously raided H&S Sweepstakes on April 5; Big Pay Day Sweepstakes and EZ Biz Sweepstakes on May 9; and University Business Center on Dec. 5.

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