Local Business Pleads Guilty To Federal Gambling Violations

Two video gambling machines sit in the back of a U-Haul truck in May 2014 after being seized by state and federal agents from the Star Market in Smithfield.

Today (Thursday) a federal judge sentenced a Selma business to four years probation as part of a plea agreement in federal court in Raleigh.

RGB, Incorporated operated as Godwin Music in Selma and Raleigh Amusement in Garner, was sentenced to probation. As part of the plea, RBG forfeited $2,334,500 and agreed to pay a $150,000 fine. The guilty plea was entered Thursday morning and the sentencing occurred thereafter.

As part of the plea agreement reached today, federal prosecutors dismissed the related gambling charges against David Ricky Godwin Sr. and David Ricky Godwin, Jr.

RGB was named in a 22-count superseding indictment filed in August, 2015. The company was originally indicted in June 2015.

According to the 2015 thirteen page federal indictment, David Ricky Godwin Sr. and David Ricky Godwin Jr. owned and operated an illegal gambling business with offices in Selma and Raleigh.  Their company allegedly provided gambling devices, juke boxes, pool tables, quarter pushers, arcade games and other amusement devices to businesses throughout eastern North Carolina, including convenience stores, restaurants and bars.

Some of the devices were video poker machines with a player having the chance to win a payout of hundreds of dollars.  The Godwin’s reportedly supervised at least 12 employees as “route men” who were involved in the sweepstakes machines. They also supervised a secretary to keep track of the proceeds and plan routes.

From January 3, 2013 to May 6, 2014, the indictment alleged the Godwin’s and their business were involved in the finance, management, and supervision of a gambling business involving sweepstakes.

The indictment alleged the gambling devices were located in businesses in Smithfield, Kenly, Wilson, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Garner, and Raleigh.

If the Godwin’s had been tried and convicted they could have faced a maximum sentence of 58 years each in prison.

In 2014, state and federal authorities seized a number of the machines from establishments in Johnston County as well as other areas.

Ricky Godwin Sr. served time in federal prison for running an illegal gambling business following a 2004 raid.

The investigation of the current case was conducted by NC Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorney David A. Bragdon represented the government.