Multi-agency investigation leads to four arrests in Onslow County


    Clockwise from top left: Gene Moore, Amanda Sewell, Chandra Wright and Sami Yahya-Saleh Al Manari (Onslow County Sheriff's Office photos)

    Four people have been arrested after a multi-agency investigation in different locations for illegal gambling and illegal video game machines in Onslow County.

    Members of the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Swansboro Police Department assisted in the execution of search warrants at four locations as part of "Operation Un-Lucky Charms." In addition, Swansboro Police and NCALE executed two search warrants at locations in Swansboro.

    Search warrants were served at 222 Games in Jacksonville, Blue-Building in Hubert, Half Dollar Cafe in Hubert and Back Gate Skilled Arcade in Hubert.

    Arrested were Gene Elwood Moore Jr., 41, of Richlands Highway in Jacksonville; Chandra Ann Wright, 55, of JLD Drive in Jacksonville; Sami Yahya-Saleh Al Manari, 26, of Belgrde Swansboro Road in Stella; and Amanda Irene Sewell, 31, of Little Kinston Road in Swansboro.

    A total of 190 video gaming machines and $59,387.86 in currency was seized during Wednesday’s operation.

    Below is a press release from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office with more details.

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    Search warrants were served at “222 Games” 4441 Richlands Highway, Jacksonville, “Blue-Building” 3102 Freedom Way, Hubert, “Half Dollar Café” 570 Sand Ridge Road, Hubert and “Back Gate Skilled Arcade” 751 Highway 172, Hubert.

    The search of 4441 Richlands Highway, a retail outlet only known as “222 Games,” resulted in investigators locating (69) video gaming machines and $31,113.00 in US currency, suspected to be proceeds of illegal gambling. Investigators arrested Gene Elwood Moore Jr. for a variety of gambling related violations.

    Moore, 41-years-old of Richlands Highway, Jacksonville was taken before a magistrate and charged with:

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Cabinet Video Gaming Machines

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Computer Video Gaming Machines

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Fish Table Video Gaming Machines

    -- Misdemeanor Gambling

    -- Misdemeanor Allow Gambling in Public House of Entertainment

    -- Misdemeanor Operate/Possess Slot Machines

    -- Misdemeanor Posses/Consume Fortified Wine on Premises Without a Permit

    --Unlawful Possession of Fortified Wine Without a Permit

    -- Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana

    -- Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

    Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

    Bond: $26,000 secured

    The search of 3102 Freedom Way, a retail outlet only known as the “Blue Building,” resulted in investigators locating (54) video gaming machines and $20,251.00 in US currency, suspected to be proceeds of the gambling crimes taking place at this property. Investigators arrested Chandra Ann Wright. for a variety of gambling related violations.

    Wright, 55-years-old of JLD Drive, Jacksonville was charged with:

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Cabinet Video Gaming Machines

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Pot-O-Gold Video Gaming Machines

    -- Felony Manufacture/Sell More Than 5 Slot Machines

    -- Misdemeanor Gambling

    -- Misdemeanor Allow Gambling in Public House of Entertainment

    -- Misdemeanor Operate/Possess Slot Machines

    -- Misdemeanor Possession of Non-Tax Paid Spiritous Liquor

    -- Misdemeanor Unauthorized Possession of Fortified Wine/Liquor on a Retail Outlet Premises

    Bond: $23,000 secured

    The search at 570 Sand Ridge Road, Hubert, a retail outlet known as the “Half Dollar Café,” resulted in investigators locating (24) video gaming machines and $2,700.96 in US currency, suspected to be proceeds of illegal gambling. This investigation is ongoing, and arrests are anticipated.

    The search at 751 Highway 172, Hubert, a retail outlet known as the “Back Gate Skilled Arcade,” resulted in investigators locating (43) video gaming machines and $3,322.90 in US currency, suspected to be proceeds of illegal gambling. This investigation is ongoing, and arrests are anticipated.

    In addition to these searches, the Swansboro Police Department served search warrants on the “Spy Shop” and “Hwy24 Tobacco,” seizing additional video gaming machines. Swansboro Police Department made the following arrests as part of this operation:

    Sami Yahya-Saleh Al Manari, 26-years-old of Belgrade Swansboro Road, Stella. He was charged with:

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Computer Video Gaming Machines

    Bond: $7,000.00 secured

    Amanda Irene Sewell, 31-years-old of Little Kinston Road, Swansboro. Her charges include:

    -- Felony Operating/Possess/Store More Than 5 Computer Video Gaming Machines.

    Bond: $2,500.00 secured

    Swansboro Police Department seized (13) machines total and approximately $12,000.00 in cash. Investigation is on-going and additional arrests are anticipated.

    This investigation was initiated when information was received that the locations were operating slot machines and other illegal gaming devices in violation of North Carolina Law. A total of 190 video gaming machines and $59,387.86 in currency was seized during Wednesday’s operation. This investigation is on-going and additional arrests and criminal charges are pending on multiple suspect(s). Anyone with information may contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at (910) 938-3273. Please refer to case 2019-000464 or 2019-000472 when calling.


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