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Three businesses cited for illegal amusement machines

Video amusement machines are illegal in McDuffie County, as the owners of three local businesses recently discovered after law enforcement authorities found such machines in operation on their premises.

No one was arrested, but citations were passed on to the owners of those businesses, according to McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Major Ronnie Williamson.

Cited for operating illegal gaming machines were Linda Ingram, owner of Ingram's Country Store, 3122 Ellington Airline Road near Dearing; and Chandra Shekar Sangam, of Madison, the owner of the Chevron gas station and store, 2093 Washington Road and the I-20 BP gas station and store, 2090 Washington Road, said McDuffie County Code Enforcement Officer Gail Newsome.

The two business owners are scheduled to appear in McDuffie County Magistrate Court on Friday to answer to the citations, Ms. Newsome said.

McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall gave the business owners 48 hours to rid the machines from the county, Maj. Williamson said. Ms. Newsome said Monday that the machines had been removed.

Sheriff Marshall, Maj. Williamson and Deputy Marc Coy went to all three businesses on Thursday, Oct. 30 where they found the illegal amusement machines. Four of them were discovered in a back room and "operational" at Ingram's Country Store, Maj. Williamson said. He said Ms. Newsome accompanied authorities to the three businesses, as well as six other businesses where no such machines were found in the county.

"No one was playing them at the time," he said.

Authorities also discovered an illegal amusement machine in a backroom of the I-20 BP gas station and store.

"A woman was engaged in playing a machine there," Maj. Williamson said.

Across the highway at the Chevron, lawmen discovered two more machines, which were hidden behind large cardboard boxes in a backroom. "They were not plugged up," Maj. Williamson said.

In at least one instance, authorities learned that winners received state lottery tickets, he said. Such information since has been passed on to officials with the state lottery commission, Maj. Williamson said.

Web posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008

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