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SPRING HILL, FL – According to detectives, On Wednesday, April 28 2021 at 10:30 p.m., the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at 4576 Commercial Way in Spring Hill. The business, “Lucky Star,” was an illegal gambling “game room.” The Sheriff’s Office has been working for months to educate the owners and operators of these establishments to work within the Florida State Statutes for legal operations.
Businesses were provided a “cease and desist” letter advising them they are operating illegally, allowing the owners to adjust their operations to comply with Florida Statutes. Several establishments changed their practices or shut down completely. An investigation revealed Lucky Star remained operating in violation of Florida State Statute, and detectives also noted narcotics activity in and around the business.
Upon execution of the search warrant, two employees, Samson Baryamichael, 33, and Nayizg Nuwayu, 31, were each charged with Keeping a Gambling House, in violation of Florida State Statute 849.01. They were transported to the Hernando County Detention Center where their bonds were set at $1,000 each.
During the execution of the search warrant, detectives seized $18,923 in cash, various gambling machines, and two large televisions. Eleven patrons were observed on scene and actively gambling. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office educated the patrons explaining that they too can be charged with a crime for participating in these game rooms. Eight of the patrons were issued warnings and released on scene.
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Additionally, three patrons were arrested on various drug charges. Nakia Williams, 24, was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of crack cocaine, possession of prescription medication without a prescription, and possession of marijuana. Her bond was set at $10,000. Desiree Kearney, 27, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $2,000. Christian Stinson, 29, was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His bond was set at $1,000.
While these types of establishments are considered enjoyment by some citizens, they also attract a criminal element to the area. Drug use and sales, weapons disturbances, fights, and robberies are known to occur at these types of establishments. This creates a safety concern for the patrons and employees of these game rooms, as well as the surrounding businesses and neighborhoods. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate other businesses in violation of Florida gambling laws, and we are committed to educating our citizens on the matter.