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The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement have completed an investigation into illegal video gambling operations throughout Bladen County.

During the investigation, it was determined that the below listed locations were operating as illegal gambling establishments.

This investigation originated from citizen complaints which prompted Vice/Narcotics Agents to the following locations where agents conducted undercover video gaming plays where the cash payouts were received.

At the conclusion of this investigation, on Thursday, February 28, 2019, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, and the Bladenboro Police Department executed search warrants at: Freddy’s on Elm located at 104 N. Elm Street, Clarkton, Klix 211 Arcade located at 4517 NC Highway 211 West, Bladenboro, 701 Sweepstakes located at 2673 Highway 701 North, Elizabethtown, and Jewels Sweepstakes located at 110 Seaboard Street, Bladenboro.  During the execution of the aforementioned search warrants, over 300 illegal video gaming machines and $10,000.00 in US currency were seized.

Agents also conducted a “knock and talk” at Aladdin Sweepstakes, located at 29 3rd Street, Dublin NC.  Pursuant to an agreement with the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office and Jeffery Smith, owner of Aladdin Sweepstakes, this location will cease operations immediately and will not reopen operations within Bladen County or anywhere else in the 13th Prosecutorial District (Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick).

“This was a joint operation with ALE and Bladenboro Police Department,” said Sheriff James McVicker. “We have been working with our State Representative William Brisson and other legislators as well as the Attorney General’s Office to shut these illegal operations down for good. There is new, stronger legislation being introduced to address this issue and more clearly define what is and what is not allowed which will make enforcement much easier and strengthen the penalties. I appreciate all the help we received from our partners in this operation.”

The following defendants were charged during this investigation and were arrested and processed at the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center:

*Steven Ray Lovin of Lumberton, NC was charged with 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes. His bond was set at $50,000.00 secured.

*Steven Mark Lovin of Lumberton, NC was charged with 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes. He was given a $100,000.00 unsecured bond.

*Cynthia Dawn Duncan of Clarkton, NC was charged with 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes. She was given a $15,000.00 secured bond.

The following corporation was charged and multiple criminal summonses were served on a member of the LLC:

*Vapes Enterprises, LLC of Raleigh, NC was charged with 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes.

The following defendants have active warrants for their arrest and are currently wanted by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff McVicker is requesting anyone with information in regards to the whereabouts of these individuals to please contact the Vice/Narcotics Unit at (910) 874-0656.  All information will remain anonymous. They are

*Daniel James Storie of Mooresville, NC is wanted on charges of 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes.

*Daniel Paul Storie of Asheboro, NC is wanted on charges of 3 counts of Gambling, 3 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 3 counts of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 2 counts of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 2 counts of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 4 counts of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes.

*James Hubert Ross, Jr. of Bladenboro, NC is wanted on charges of 2 counts of Gambling, 2 counts of Operating Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Possession of 5 or More Video Gaming Machines, 1 count of Promote, Operate, or Conduct a Server Based Game, 1 count of Possessing Illegal Gaming Terminals, and 1 count of Operating Electronic Sweepstakes.

Additional arrests are anticipated.

Related article:

Video gaming machines seized

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