LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - More than four months after WIS published secret recordings of a Lexington town councilman outlining underground gambling businesses in the county, deputies have seized several video gambling machines, including a machine from a location News Ten's Jody Barr mapped out during an investigative report in August.
Lexington County Sheriff's Department narcotics investigators and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents on Tuesday seized eight illegal video gambling devices that were being operated at a convenience store on U.S. 1 near Lexington, an unmarked office space that is adjacent to a bar in a strip shopping center on Airport Boulevard near West Columbia, and a bar on St. Andrews Road near Irmo.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said a Lexington County magistrate on Wednesday, determined that the eight devices each are illegal video gambling devices, which are subject to seizure by law enforcement. Under South Carolina law, a magistrate must determine whether each individual gambling device is illegal, Metts said.
Investigators received information that one Pace-O-Matic cabinet-style illegal video gambling device was being operated at a Kwik Way convenience store at 4374 Augusta Road, Lexington, Metts said. Investigators found the illegal gambling device in a room that is located at the rear of the store. Deputies said the machine was delivered to the store on Monday, December 17.
The Kwik Way is same location where WIS's Jody Barr found five machines in August using directions given by Danny Frazier to an informant in a secret recording.
"You know where the Kwik Way service station is?" asks Frazier in the recording, "Go into Kwik Way, walk in the door, turn left to the coolers, walk straight back and you'll see some bathrooms on your right...then you'll see a door straight in front of you. Open that door, walk in that room right there."
Frazier, who denies any involvement in any Lexington County video poker businesses, then gives advice to the informant. "You'll see all the machines in there," continues Frazier. "There'll be people in there playing them...close the door back and say...Oh, I thought this was the bathroom."
Investigators also received information that Pot-O-Gold cabinet-style illegal video gambling devices were being operated at an unmarked office space at 2308 Airport Boulevard, West Columbia, that is adjacent to The Rock bar, Metts said. Investigators found that five illegal video gambling devices were being operated in the office space and seized the devices as well as $302 in cash. Patrons at the office space had access to dine-in and take-out menus for The Rock bar. The office space also had a refrigerator that contained alcoholic beverages.
In addition, investigators received information that Pot-O-Gold table-top and cabinet-style illegal video gambling devices were being operated at WG's Bar at 736-H St. Andrews Road near Irmo, Metts said. Investigators found two illegal video gambling devices at the bar and seized the devices.