NEW INFO: Six arrested in illegal gambling case

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - More details have emerged about an undercover investigation which led to six arrests and the seizure of gambling machines.

(Clockwise from top left) Saleh, Melton, Blakley, Newkirk, Taher-Maswarah and Evans

Major Chris Thomas with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office says the illegal gambling machines were seized after a two-month undercover investigation.

Thomas Newkirk, 31, of Jacksonville, Teresa Evans, 66, of Holly Ridge, Richard Melton Jr., 29, of Jacksonville, Teresa Blakley, 57, of Jacksonville, Eyad Saleh, 20, of Jacksonville, and Malek Taher-Maswarah, 32, of Jacksonville, were all charged with misdemeanor gambling violation, misdemeanor operate/possess slot machine, misdemeanor allow gambling in public house, misdemeanor allow gaming tables, and misdemeanor keeping slot machines/gaming tables.

Maj. Thomas says the investigation was prompted after people playing the machines say they were ripped off.

"They say they have been ripped off and not been paid, a lot of people go and play, and a lot of people lose their money," he explains. "But the games themselves are a violation of North Carolina gaming law, and we're just enforcing those laws."

Search warrants were issued Thursday for the Holly Mart on U.S. 17 South in Holly Ridge, BJ's Yard Sale on Richlands Highway, and Best Exxon on Richlands Highway.

Deputies say almost $12,000 in gambling receipts, along with ledgers, receipts and tally sheets were seized during the raid of three Onslow County businesses.


Previous Story

Eleven gambling machines have been seized along with thousands of dollars in cash with the arrest of six people.

Onslow County deputies say the arrests came after a two-month long investigation into illegal gambling in the county.

Search warrants were issued Thursday for the Holly Mart on U.S. 17 South in Holly Ridge, BJ's Yard Sale on Richlands Highway, and Best Exxon on Richlands Highway.

Thomas Newkirk, 31, of Jacksonville, Teresa Evans, 66, of Holly Ridge, Richard Melton Jr., 29, of Jacksonville, Teresa Blakley, 57, of Jacksonville, Eyad Saleh, 20, of Jacksonville, and Malek Taher-Maswarah, 32, of Jacksonville, were all charged with misdemeanor gambling violation, misdemeanor operate/possess slot machine, misdemeanor allow gambling in public house, misdemeanor allow gaming tables, and misdemeanor keeping slot machines/gaming tables.

Saleh was also charged with conducting gambling at a licensed ABC premise, and consume alcohol by 19/20 year old.

Bonds for the six ranged from $3,000 to $7,000, all unsecured bonds.

Deputies say they seized more than $11,600 in gambling receipts, along with ledgers, receipts and tally sheets.