Havelock Police have charged eight people in connection with various sweepstakes and gaming law violations.
The charges stem from an 11-month investigation by the Havelock police and Craven County Sheriff’s deputies. On Oct. 17, authorities executed search warrants of seven Havelock businesses and collected more than 300 pieces of evidence, including Internet sweepstakes gambling machines.
“These charges have been filed as the result of an undercover investigation conducted by the Havelock Police Department with the assistance of the Craven County Sheriff’s Department,” said District Attorney Scott Thomas. “Some of the offenses allege violations of traditional gaming laws that have been on the books for years and others are based upon the Sweepstakes law.”
Benjamin Edwards, of Greenville, has been charged with 21 counts of operating or possessing a slot machine and two charges of possessing an electronic sweepstakes machine.
Greg Muse, of New Bern, faces 15 charges of manufacturing or selling slot machines for renting his machines to other locations and one charge of possessing a slot machine.
Miteshkumar Vinodbhai Mistry faces one charge of operating or possessing a slot machine at the U.S Mini Mart.
Gajendrabhai Patel faces one charge of operating or possessing a slot machine at Food Fare.
Ninad Narendrakumar Patel is charged with operating or possessing a slot machine at Super Expressway.
Gloria Bergman was charged with one count of operating or possessing a slot machine and one count of allowing gambling in a public house, Jean’s Place.
William Rhodes faces two charges of manufacturing or selling slot machines for renting or leasing his machines to Friends Billiards and Pub.
John Miriani is facing one charge of operating or possessing a slot machine and one charge of allowing gambling at a public house, Friends Billiards and Pub.
“My office has advised law enforcement agencies in our jurisdiction to conduct investigations and file charges if probable cause of a criminal violation is present,” Thomas said. “These cases will ultimately be decided in the trial courts where the state and the defendant will each have an opportunity to present evidence.”
Cathryn Lindsay is a reporter for the Sun Journal.