ALE search shuts down Sugarbunks

Published 11:12 am Monday, February 22, 2016

RICH SQUARE – An internet cafe and bingo hall was searched here Wednesday after numerous community complaints were received by law enforcement involving illegal gambling and video gaming machines.

Sugarbunk’s, located at 128 North Main Street in Rich Square, was closed down after Special Agents with Alcohol Law Enforcement’s District II office in Greenville found illegal sweepstakes gaming machines.

The ALE was assisted in the search by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and the Rich Square Police Department.

Special Agent in Charge Eric Swain said the search resulted in agents seizing 29 video gaming machines and approximately $38,000 in cash.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Swain said, “and criminal charges are pending pursuant to ALE consulting with the Northampton County District Attorney’s office.

“The owners of the business and seized machines may be charged with felony or misdemeanor crimes related to gambling and video gaming machine violations,” Swain added.

Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith said due to citizen’s complaints, Sugarbunk’s had been searched before, though not as thoroughly as what took place on Wednesday.

About six months ago, Smith said, Sugarbunk’s had been notified by three law enforcement agencies that it was in violation NC state law because it had the illegal sweepstakes games.

About two months ago, the three agencies were investigating to determine if the machines had been removed.

After determining that the illegal machines were still on-site and being used by the public, the decision to search the premises was made.

Sheriff Smith said they always listen to complaints from the public.

“We are here to investigate citizen complaints,” Smith said. “We act on any complaints of wrongdoing that prove to break the law.”