8 charged as investigation continues into gaming locations in Burke Co.

8 charged as investigation continues into gaming locations in Burke Co.
According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, detectives have issued charges for eight people after further investigation.

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Officials say eight people have been charged as an investigation continues into gaming locations in Burke County.

According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, detectives have issued charges for eight people after further investigation.

In addition to these charges, officials have provided a letter to other businesses operating Video Poker, Fish Games, and Sweepstakes Operations throughout the county. Officials say the letter provides these businesses with the opportunity to immediately comply with the law regarding these machines.

Businesses who do not comply will be investigated and owners/employees who are found to be in violation of the statues may face criminal charges and any devices may be seized and could be forfeited upon order of the court.

The eight people who were recently charged are listed below.

46-year-old Freddie W. Nickols

  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 2000 Johns River Loop, Morganton, NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 2000 Johns River Loop, Morganton, NC
  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC

48-year-old Tammy Nichols

  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 2000 Johns River Loop, Morganton, NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 2000 Johns River Loop, Morganton, NC
  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC

38-year-old Rebecca Allendria McCloud

  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 2210 US 70 E, Morganton, NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 2210 US 70 E, Morganton, NC

56-year-old Lisa Byrd Branch

  • Felonious Operation of Five or More Video Gaming Machines at 1575 US 70 W, Valdese NC
  • Misdemeanor Gambling at 1575 US 70 W, Valdese NC

49-year-old Magdalena Villa-Gomez Kruse

  • Misdemeanor Operate Video Gaming Machine at 2000 Johns River Loop, Morganton, NC

19-year-old Caitlin Shenae Nicole Hicks

  • Misdemeanor Operate Video Gaming Machine at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC

40-year-old Angela Page Hicks

  • Misdemeanor Operate Video Gaming Machine at 1460 US 70 W, Valdese, NC

Michael Andrew Sunflower

  • Misdemeanor Operate Video Gaming Machine at 2210 US 70 E, Morganton, NC

In August, deputies conducted a multi-agency operation which led to the search of four different gaming locations around the area.

In collaboration with the NC Department of Public Safety, ALE, and the District Attorney’s Office, Burke County Sheriff’s deputies served warrants to three gaming establishments on US 70 as well as an additional site on Johns River Loop. A prior investigation into these locations indicated that their machines were being operated in violation of NC statutes, leading to their seizure upon being searched.

No further information was released.

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