After more than a year of surveillance and work with Homeland Security, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Organized Crime Unit honed in on eleven different underground gambling operations. The sweepstakes busts were made along Yadkin and Cliffdale Roads, Bragg Boulevard, and Hope Mills Road.
ABC11 cameras captured one of Thursday's raids in a re-purposed home along Hope Mills Road. It's located next door to an elementary school, although several of the establishments are in neighborhoods.
Inside the home, dozens of sweepstakes machines lined the walls. The machines were confiscated and taken to a CCSO storage unit where they'll remain until the cases are closed. The gambling machines will then head to a landfill.
Investigators estimate a single operation funnels about $70,000 a month.
"It's a shame that we have people who have no more respect for our children than to set up in the middle of communities and operate these operations," said Earl "Moose" Butler, Cumberland County's Sheriff. "It goes back.... it's all about money, and it's a lot of money and we're just...we're tired of it and we want to do what we can to help put a stop to it."
The following people are facing Continuing Criminal Enterprise and Conspiracy charges:
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