Several arrested in Columbus Co. gambling operation
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office arrested nearly 10 people in a gambling machine operation at four stores in Columbus County.
A spokeswoman for the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office said the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Unit, along with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit executed search warrants at four gaming establishments simultaneously on August 2. The investigation was initiated as the result of numerous citizen complaints.
The following locations were searched during the operation:
Vasco #1 located at 1101 East 5th Street in Tabor City
Vasco # 2 located at 401 Fair Bluff Road in Tabor City
Deep Pockets located at 109 North Main Street in Tabor City
701 Food and Tobacco located at 7196 James B White Highway South in Whiteville
All establishments were open for business at the time the searches were executed.
At Deep Pockets, Tamara Jenell Brown, 34, of Longs, SC was arrested and charged with felony possession of cocaine. Adam Heath Wallace, 44, of Tabor City was serving as the operator/manager of Deep Pockets. Wallace was arrested and charged with felony operating five or more video gaming machines, felony possession of a stolen firearm, misdemeanor electronic sweepstakes, and misdemeanor gambling. Three women Lataya Nealey, Joyce Nealy, and Consuella Vereen, had outstanding warrants and were arrested by Tabor City Police Department.
At 701 Food and Tobacco, customers were using the machines at the time of the search. They were cleared and released. The owner, Walid Abdo Hassan Al-Muraisi, 26, of Lumberton arrived during the search. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor gambling and misdemeanor operating video gaming machines. Lisa Marie Moore, 48, of Evergreen was operating the establishment at the time of the search. She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor gambling and misdemeanor operating video gaming machines.
Screenivas Vundavalli, 45, of Tabor City, the owner of Vasco #1 and #2, was arrested at Vasco #1. He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor gambling and two counts of misdemeanor operating video gaming machines.
Video gaming machines and cash were seized from all of these establishments.