Sheriff sends strong message about gambling in Cumberland County


Cecil Alfred (Al) Parker Jr. and Cathy Parker are accused of running a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to operate illegal gambling machines - among other charges.

The indictments come after the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office raided Oasis Sweepstakes located at 3451 Chicken Foot Road, Hope Mills, on April 8.

Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said 33 "Pot O' Gold" video poker and other gambling machines were confiscated.

He hopes the arrest of the Parkers shows that illegal gambling is no longer a pot of gold in Cumberland County.

"People have tried to say it's a mom and pop organization," said Butler. "Well, we picked up a $1 million cash in the last go round from one man. I don't think that is a mom and pop operation."

Butler said the Parkers conspired to remove parts of the machines in an attempt to make them look lawful.

Butler believes his department is the first in the state to charge illegal gambling operators with felony crimes.

"I want to send a strong message that we will not put up with this kind of illegal gambling in this county," said Butler.

At last report, the Parkers are at the Cumberland County Detention Center on $50,000 bond each.

Butler says he has tips on other underground illegal gambling houses, and he vows to close them, saying there will be more arrests and additional charges.

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