Fayetteville, N.C. — A Cumberland County grand jury has indicted a Wake County couple on charges that they ran an illegal gambling operation in Hope Mills, authorities said Wednesday.
Cecil Alfred "Al" Parker Jr. and Cathy Parker face charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, operating prohibited gaming machines and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler said he expects more indictments stemming from raids and seizures that his deputies conducted on area sweepstakes parlors in recent months.
"I hope this sends the message that video poker and gambling and the other crime that these operations bring will not be tolerated in Cumberland County," Butler said in a statement, adding that the gaming parlors are “a form of organized crime, and we intend to stop them.”
The indictments charge that the Parkers and business partner Doug Guy had video poker machines and other illegal gambling devices at Oasis Sweepstakes, at 3451 Chicken Foot Road in Hope Mills, and paid cash winnings to players of the machines. The Parkers and Guy also are alleged to have tried to alter the machines to pass them off as legal online sweepstakes machines, according to the indictments.
Deputies seized 33 “Pot O’ Gold,” video poker and other gambling machines from Oasis Sweepstakes during an April 8 raid.