UPDATE Dec. 17, 2021: The charges against the defendants named in this story have either been nolle prossed or dismissed, per online court records.
ORIGINAL STORY: NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For the second time this month, Norfolk police have charged individuals in connection with alleged illegal gambling at a local vape business.
According to a Norfolk police news release, investigators executed a search warrant around 10:50 a.m. Thursday at Dragon Vapes, at 846 E. Little Creek Road, after receiving reports about illegal gambling at the business.
After the search at the business, detectives charged two people with gambling-related offenses and seized illegal gaming stations, computers, and more than $5,000.
Jimmie W. Hicks Jr., 55, of Advance, North Carolina, is charged with possessing illegal gambling devices.
Monika S. Torrence, 35, of Norfolk, is charged with being an accessory to gambling activity.
Norfolk police said the department’s Anti-Crime Division is working to crack down on illegal gambling in the city.
Dragon Vapes was one business mentioned in a 10 On Your Side investigation last month about illegal gambling.
On June 23, 2020, Norfolk City Council voted to deny the businesses conditional use permit for operate as commercial recreation centers with skill games.
As of Feb. 1, 10 On Your Side witnessed the shop and two others in Norfolk open for business. All three could not be found on the state’s skill machine database. Calls to the applicant Jeremey Jones seeking comment were not returned.
On March 3, police executed a search warrant at Lucky Vape Lounge located at 1202 E. Little Creek Road.
Two people were charged in that incident: Ann P. Baker, 53, of Portsmouth, and Major J. Riley III, 64, of Chesapeake, are charged with possessing an illegal gambling device.
Police said they seized multiple illegal gaming stations, computers, and approximately $1,600 from Lucky Vape Lounge.