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Cumberland Co. sheriff: Underground gambling is creating danger in neighborhoods

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Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says two men tried to rob an illegal video gambling operation inside this home. He says he is seeing more video gambling go underground since the state's ban on video gambling operations. Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says two men tried to rob an illegal video gambling operation inside this home. He says he is seeing more video gambling go underground since the state's ban on video gambling operations.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A double shooting at a house in Cumberland County highlights a concern for Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler. He says the shooting happened early Wednesday morning while two men were trying to rob an illegal video gambling operation inside a house on Cumberland Road.

Law enforcement seized four illegal gambling machines. Butler says video gambling inside houses is something he is seeing more since he started enforcing the state's ban on the machines earlier this year. On Thursday his detectives busted another home near Eastover, and found another four machines.

"They are moving these places into communities, setting up in houses," Butler said.

Butler said is a particular concern when the video gambling moves into residential areas because they often attract crime, like the double shooting Wednesday morning.

"I want the county of Cumberland and the different communities to be aware. If they see anything that they feel is suspicious to call the sheriff's office," Butler said.

Across the street from the alleged illegal video gambling operation, Ernest King said he would definitely pay more attention. He was suspicious of all the cars he saw at the house across the street from him, but he did not think underground gambling was the cause.

"Come to find out it was slot machines. I never would have thought it was something like that," King said.

"If I ever see any more doing it, I'll call the police."

Butler said he believes the video machines being used in the underground gambling have been left over from when they were legally operated in businesses. He said many of the machines have been stored in back room and sheds.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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