By DEUCE NIVEN
Three Tabor City businesses and a fourth south of Whiteville were the subject of search warrant raids Friday afternoon and the seizure of suspected illegal video gaming machines. Chief Deputy Aaron Herring of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office said.
Warrants were served simultaneously at Deep Pockets pool hall, Vasco #1 and Vasco #2 convenience stores, all in Tabor City; and the 701 Service Center south of Whiteville, Herring said. A total of 66 video gaming machines were seized.
Sixty video gaming machines were seized at Deep Pockets, with cocaine and a stolen handgun also located at the Main Street business, Herring said.
Four people with outstanding warrants were playing pool at Deep Pockets, Herring said, and arrested.
Four machines each were seized at the Vasco stores on East 5th Street and Fair Bluff Road, Herring said. Misdemeanor citations will be issued to whoever was in charge of each business when the warrants were served, Herring said.
“We’ll look into the owners and file charges as the law allows,” Herring said.
Vice/Narcotics, SWAT, and Patrol Division officers from the sheriff’s office were assisted by the Tabor City Police Department at the locations in town, Herring said. Tabor City Fire Chief Jeff Fowler was also at Deep Pockets looking into potential fire code violations, Herring said.
Herring said command staff taking part also included Sheriff Jody Greene. Citizen complaints prompted the investigations that resulted in Friday’s search warrants.
This is a developing story. Look for more in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.