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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday - June 17, 2003

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that PEDROLAND, INCORPORATED, of 3346 Highway 301 North, Hamer, South Carolina, pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement and was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Monday, June 16, 2003. Chief U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the company's plea of guilty to participating in an illegal gambling business, which was charged in a one-count Criminal Information, and immediately proceeded to sentencing.

PEDROLAND, INCORPORATED, will forfeit to the United States the sum of $400,000.00, as well as all other property listed in a forfeiture notice contained in the Criminal Information. That list includes 25 video gaming machines, money counters/sorters, calculators, a "Dollar Bill Checker," and a cash register. The company also will pay a $400.00 special assessment to the court.

PEDROLAND, INCORPORATED, was charged with participating in an illegal gambling business, namely, Silver Slipper Arcade, located in Robeson County, N. C., and Dillon County, S. C., from approximately July 25, 2000 to September 28, 2000. According to the Criminal Information, the illegal gambling business involved

video and arcade games that were operated in violation of North Carolina General Statutes, that is, games of chance that awarded prizes of more than nominal value. Because the gambling business involved at least five persons; remained in continuous operation for more than 30 days; and generated a gross revenue of at least $2,000.00 in a single day, it constituted a violation of federal law.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement. Assistant U. S. Attorney Peter W. Kellen handled the case for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.



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