F’ville cops raid gift shop, find gambling machines
Fayetteville Police during the late morning hours April 17 entered the Fayette Gift Shop on North Glynn Street to serve search warrants related to illegal gambling on the premises. A search warrant was also served at the Travis Trail residence of the person believed to be the registered owner.
Maj. Kevin Gooding in a release of preliminary information at the scene said the business was believed to have been operating as a gambling location similar to the activities identified recently in Peachtree City and Clayton County.
And what investigators found inside in the front of the building was the gift shop with items such as picture fames hanging in the wall. But in a room at the rear of the store were six electronic gambling machines, Gooding said. The find corroborated initial complaints made by someone who contacted police saying they had lost money on the machines, Gooding said.
There were two customers and one employee inside the store at the time of the search, Gooding said. Officers approached the three without incident. The names of those individuals have not been released and charges on the three are pending, Gooding added.
A simultaneous search warrant was executed at 125 Travis Trail in unincorporated Fayette County. Gooding said the residence is believed to be the home of the individual with whom the business is registered.
Det. Mike Whitlow at the scene said the owner came to the residence and spoke with investigators. The owner’s name is not being released at this time and no arrest warrants have been issued, Whitlow said.
Albert Hedden, manager of the Natural Goodness Health Foods store located adjacent to the gift shop, said some people came in and opened the gift shop but there seemed to have been more to the story.
“It was obvious they were not selling only gifts,” Hedden said. “Some customers would come out looking happy and some would could out looking not so happy.”
Both Whitlow and Gooding said the investigation began several months ago and is ongoing.
“This illustrates the problem for the regular, everyday person. They come in and get in the habit of gambling. And the odds are not in their favor,” said Gooding.