Monday, January 24, 2022

Cumberland authorities bust video poker operation

— Cumberland County authorities raided several businesses and arrested three people Friday in connection with an alleged gambling operation.

The organization, which authorities said was run by Gyoung Lok Lee, has been linked to gambling operations in Flushing, N.Y., Irving, Texas, and Los Angeles, investigators said.

Lee, of 1876 Spiralwood Drive in Fayetteville, and Jay Hugh Pridgen, of 3206 University Ave. in Fayetteville, were each charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, felony conspiracy and two counts of operating five or more video poker machines.

Allen Larson, of 5970 Lakeway Drive in Fayetteville, and Eric Murillo, of 3206 University Ave., were each charged with felony conspiracy and operating five or more video poker machines. Murillo hadn’t been arrested as of Friday night.

Deputies and U.S. Homeland Security agents seized more than $100,000 in cash, 35 gambling machines, several guns and a “trafficking amount” of opioids in the raids, authorities said.

Among the equipment seized were two gaming tables commonly called “the fish game,” in which players attempt to shoot animated fish on a digital screen that each have predetermined cash values. The two are the first fish game tables seized in North Carolina, authorities said.

The largest of the six locations raided was a false store front at 3069 Cumberland Road that contained a large-scale sweepstakes operation, with more than 40 computers, authorities said.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.

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