Deputies bust illegal gambling operation in Cherokee Co., 2 arrested

Local News

Eddie Heath (left) and Robert Heath (From: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office)

CHEROKEE CO., SC (WSPA) – Two brothers are accused of running an illegal gambling house at a home in Cherokee County.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, deputies executed a search warrant at a home on East Cherokee Street near Blacksburg after a report of an illegal gambling operation inside on March 26.

The sheriff’s office said officers found seven people inside the home, including four people playing poker machines and two people waiting to play.

Deputies said the seventh person was the house manager, 70-year-old Eddie Dean Heath.

There were 11 of the gaming machines inside the home at the time but only four were operational, deputies said.

Poker machines inside home on East Cherokee Street seized as part of illegal gambling investigation. (From: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office)

Eddie Heath told investigators that he was running the gambling operation for his brother, 68-year-old Robert Michael Health, who owned the home, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators say they were able to recover electronic data from the four machines that $248,375 had been put into them over nine months.

Cherokee County deputies said they believed the house had been in operation as an illegal gambling house since February 2018 and that the house had been used exclusively for gambling. They said there was no evidence that anyone lived in the house on a regular basis.

The sheriff’s office seized the house, the 11 machines, and $1,850 in cash.

Both Robert Heath and Eddie Heath have each been charged with eight counts of Gambling, Unlawful Possession, Operation of Slot, Video, or Gambling Device.

The four people found playing the machines were each charged with Gambling at a Gaming House and given a summons to appear in court before being released without arrest.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said they are working with federal authorities due to the large amount of cash flowing through the machines and the close proximity to the North Carolina state line to ensure that no federal laws were violated.

Anyone with information on similar illegal gambling operations or illegal activity is asked to call local law enforcement or Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers at 888-274-6372.

Home on East Cherokee Street seized as part of illegal gambling investigation. (From: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office)

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