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The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed a search Warrant at the 701 Business Center located at 2388 James B White Highway North in Whiteville. During the search warrant, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately $8,000.00 in cash, over 80 video gaming machines, and approximately 10 flat screen televisions.

On Monday, March 4, 2019, shortly before 6:30 p.m., Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Unit, along with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed a search warrant at the 701 Business Center located at 2388 James B White Highway North in Whiteville.  The video gaming establishment was open for business when the search warrants were executed.  Columbus County Sheriff’s Office initiated the investigation after receiving numerous citizen complaints concerning the establishment. 

During the investigation, undercover agents entered the gaming establishment and played the available video gaming machines.  Afterwards, they were given cash payouts for their winnings.  This violates North Carolina General Statutes. 

During the search warrant, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately $8,000.00 in cash, over 80 video gaming machines, and approximately 10 flat screen televisions. 

On February 12th, 2019, a sworn member of Columbus County Sheriff’s Office command staff witnessed a male wearing a tactical vest, outside of the 701 Business Center.  After conducting surveillance, to ensure public safety, an investigation was initiated.  Contact was made with the individual serving as a security guard.  He was equipped with a tactical vest, body camera, Taser, and a loaded handgun.  The individual, Julius Rasheem Ellerbe, was unable to provide documentation that he held a firearm registration permit and completed the required training course as required by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety. 

Ellerbe is on probation in Richmond County for felony larceny charges.  He also had outstanding warrants from Chatham County for failing to appear on speeding and reckless driving to endanger charges. The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ellerbe on the outstanding warrants.  Ellerbe was then served a criminal summons for failure to be registered and/or have a license to be employed as an armed security guard.  Richmond County served Ellerbe for violating his probation conditions. 

When the search warrant was executed on Monday, March 4th, deputies encountered two more individuals, John Roshan Stanley and Nicholas Alexander McConnell, serving as security guards for the establishment.  Neither Stanley nor McConnell are registered and/or licensed to be employed as an armed security guard.  Outstanding criminal summons have been issued for both individuals. 

Inside the video gaming establishment, deputies located Linwood Norfleet Boudreau, Pamela Sibbett Duncan, and Cynthia Dawn Duncan operating the video gaming establishment.  All three were charged with four (4) counts of gambling, four (4) counts of operating video gaming machines, and four (4) counts of operating five (5) or more video gaming machines.  Cynthia Duncan was charged with multiple charges on February 28th, when ALE and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office executed warrants at four (4) video gaming establishments in Bladen County. 

Daniel James Storie and Danny Storie, the owners/operators of 701 Business Center, were both charged with outstanding warrants for four (4) counts of gambling, four (4) counts of operating video gaming machines, four (4) counts of operating five (5) or more video gaming machines, and one (1) misdemeanor count of electronic sweepstakes.  Both were also charged with multiple charges on February 28th, in the Bladen County case.         

In October 2018, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at the same establishment and seized over 95 video gaming machines and over $27,000.00 in cash.

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