Authorities arrest 4 for illegal gaming operation - - Columbia, South Carolina

Authorities arrest 4 for illegal gaming operation

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Lexington County Sheriff's Department narcotics investigators and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents arrested three people Friday after they were found to be operating a gaming house at a home on Fields Lane near Lexington.

Lexington County Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty said Stacy Joyce Erickson, 39, James Frederick Freeland, Jr., 61, and Brunelle Speaks Pace, 54, turned themselves in on Friday.

Investigators seized eight illegal video gambling devices that the two women and one man operated at the home. Investigators previously arrested a 44-year-old man in connection with the illegal gaming house.

Arrest warrants allege that on July 2, sheriff's narcotics investigators and SLED agents executed a search warrant at Freeland's home on Fields Lane, McCarty said.

On  July 3, a Lexington County magistrate ruled that each of the eight Pot-O-Gold-type tabletop video poker devices found at Freeland's home were illegal video gambling devices, which were subject to seizure by law enforcement officers, McCarty said.

Under South Carolina law, a magistrate must determine whether each individual gambling device is illegal.

Gregory Speaks, who does not have a permanent address, turned himself in on Thursday on arrest warrants on eight counts of unlawfully possessing a video gambling device and one count of operating a gaming house, McCarty said.

Speaks was released from the county Detention Center on Thursday after Speaks posted bail totaling $9,000.

McCarty asked anyone with information about illegal video gambling devices to call the Lexington County Sheriff's Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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