Illegal Cumberland County gambling establishments shut down
Posted December 3, 2015
Cumberland County, N.C. — The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spent a majority of Thursday morning shutting down a number of illegal video gambling establishments throughout the county.
One establishment on Hope Mills Road was not far from Sherwood Park Elementary School and a day care center. Investigators said the suspect in that case was running a gambling operation inside a fake nail distribution business. Inside, several rooms were set up with video gambling machines.
Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said his deputies have warrants to shut down 11 illegal operations. Some were running cash-only gaming machines in residential areas while others, like the Hope Mills establishment, were operating behind the walls of a fake business.
"We've had all these store front operations, they're closed. There are some we're constantly monitoring and they'll move into the community and we're going to deal with them," said Butler.
According to the sheriff’s office, the Hope Mills Road operation was netting about $70,000 a month. Investigators said some of the money generated by illegal gambling establishments is used to conduct other criminal activities.
Butler started his push to shut down illegal gambling operations 10 years ago. He believes his deputies have made a major dent in illegal gambling in Cumberland County, but he’s still amazed by the staggering amount of money passing through the operations.
“That’s the main issue, that we’re dealing with families spending a lot of their money on gambling, which is their choice, but it’s against the law to do it the way it’s going on,” said Butler. “We’re going to continue to investigate these operations as long as I’m the sheriff of Cumberland County.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the following seven people had been arrested and charged with continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy:
Long Nguyen, 64, of 5213 Longbranch Drive in Fayetteville
Brenda McDougall, 63, of 823 Algood Drive in Hope Mills
Lincoln Pham, 26, of 730 Villagio Place in Fayetteville
Cobby Huynh, 40, of 730 Villagio Place in Fayetteville
Khai Nguyen, 57, of 429 Homestead Drive in Fayetteville
Trong Nguyen, 39, of 5213 Longbranch Drive in Fayetteville
Ngoc Vo, 40, of 429 Homestead Drive in Fayetteville
The machines will be taken from the illegal gambling locations around the county and stored as evidence until they are eventually destroyed.