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Suspect: Alleged Gambling Operation Just a Friendly Poker Game

A Cary man says police mistook a poker tournament as an illegal gambling operation.

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CARY, N.C. — What happened inside a Cary business was a weekly $40-per-person poker tournament that grew too big for a house, a man charged as a result of a gambling raid said Tuesday.

Cary police, however, said it was an illegal operation in which Matthew McCoy, 25, of Cary, organized up to five games a week and from which he profited.

Authorities charged McCoy with one count each of gambling, possession for sale of alcoholic beverages without permits and unauthorized possession of liquor.

Cary police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives early Friday morning cited 41 people for gambling and seized $20,000 in cash as well as a small amount of marijuana and heroin.

"Clearly, this was a high-stakes poker game," said Capt. David Wulff of the Cary Police Department. "That was really not your friendly game of poker."

Detectives said they found six poker tables inside the business, Table Image, after receiving a tip. Neighboring business owners told WRAL Tuesday that they noticed the doors always closed and numerous people going into the back door.

"I'd say there were periods when there were 100 people in there," said Rex Deffenbaugh, who owns a car-repair shop next door and works at night.

A delivery man who often delivered to the location said he noticed no one was ever there during the day but that on Thursday nights, the parking lot was packed.

McCoy told WRAL on Tuesday that all the money he made went to overhead costs, such as renting the office space.

All the charges against all 41 individuals are misdemeanors. If convicted, however, each person could have to pay a fine and court costs.

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John Bachman, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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