Hundreds of charges filed in illegal gambling crackdown across Charlotte region

CHARLOTTE — Police say 800 criminal charges were filed in the wake of a crackdown on illegal gambling operations in the Charlotte region.

Multiple people are facing charges in connection with the sting, and now prosecutors in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties will have to work through hundreds of warrants.

Sources say it was part of a federal, state and local operation targeting illegal arcades and fish tables. Channel 9 learned four of those arrested were in Gaston County and one was in Charlotte.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom was overhead one of those busts on Wednesday. Officers were at the Fish Table Computers Games along Albermarle Road in east Charlotte. We could see law enforcement officers taking things out of that business.

‘Havens for criminal activity’

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said on Friday that 496 criminal charges were filed in Mecklenburg County and 304 charges were filed in Gastonia.

CMPD said officers were able to seize 117 gambling stations from two locations in Charlotte on Wednesday. Four other locations in North Carolina were raided, including two arcades in Gastonia and an arcade on Independence Boulevard in Matthews. An arcade in Raleigh with the same name as one in Gastonia was also raided.

According to CMPD, 50-year-old Khalil Okasha was arrested for warrants “related to the investigation,” and 38-year-old Antwan Webb was arrested for providing unlicensed armed security at the Charlotte location.

Seven people with the same last name also have warrants out for their arrest in connection with illegal gambling charges, including:

  • Nina Nashar, 29, of Gastonia
  • Nicole Nashar, 27, of Gastonia
  • Hani Nashar of Charlotte
  • Haissam Nashar, 57, of Gastonia
  • Valarie Nashar, 54, of Gastonia
  • Lillian Nashar, 22, of Gastonia
  • Adam Nashar, 18, of Gastonia

As of Friday, none of the Nashars had been taken into custody, according to CMPD.

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings accused illegal gambling arcades of being “havens for criminal activity.”

“Often the most vulnerable members of our communities are targeted to gamble at these locations,” Jennings said in a statement on Friday.

(WATCH BELOW: Authorities charge 40 in drug, gun, gambling crackdown in Lenoir)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.