WHITEVILLE —A Dublin man who is no stranger to video gaming law violations has been charged by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office this week after numerous computer hard drives allegedly used to operate illegal computer-based gambling games were seized.
Jeffery S. Smith, 44, a Dublin town councilman, was charged with two counts of operating a video gambling machine.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office’s Vice and Narcotics Division seized the hard drives from the Gold Rush Internet Cafe on U.S. 701 just north of Whiteville on Tuesday. The seizures took place after an undercover agent played the illegal games at the Cafe.
Although Smith is the first to be charged with operating illegal gambling machines in Columbus County, he has faced similar charges in Bladen County and, last year, he sued Bladen County Sheriff Prentis Benston and the county — a suit that was later dropped.
According to information from the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, detectives seized 68 computer hard drives and $5,800 cash after serving a search warrant at the Gold Rush Internet Cafe.
Smith was booked into the Columbus County Jail under a $1,000 secured bond.