Durham deputies seize computers, cash during internet sweepstakes raid

Friday, April 05, 2013

Durham County sheriff's investigators raided an illegal sweepstakes café Friday evening after it was determined the café was in violation of state law.

Deputies with the sheriff's Anti-Crime and Narcotics unit and criminal investigations division executed a search warrant at H&S Internet Café in the 3700 block of Wake Forest Highway at 6 p.m.

Deputies seized 108 computers, approximately $2,500 cash, and cited the café's owner, Edward R. Simmons, 47, of Rock Hill, S.C., for operating machines and devices for sweepstakes.

"An undercover investigator made several trips into this establishment during the investigation," said Maj. Paul Martin. "The information gathered by the undercover deputyand during this search warrantprovides incontrovertible evidence that H&S Internet Café was operating illegally. Similar investigations may already be underway throughout Durham County, including inside the City of Durham, and I hope this raid sends a message that illegal sweepstakes cafes will not be allowed to operate in Durham County."

Several customers were inside the café at the time of the raid, but no one was arrested or cited.

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