More gaming machines seized from Travelers Rest store

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Travelers Rest police said two gaming machines were seized from a local convenience store following the execution of a search warrant Monday afternoon.

The machines were seized from W.E. Willis #1 on N. Poinsett Highway, which was closed as police and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents executed the warrant, part of an active investigation into illegal gaming in Travelers Rest.

This is the second time in a little over six weeks that gaming machines have been seized at the store, owned by Warren Willis, who also owns a second convenience store and a liquor store in Travelers Rest.

In May, Travelers Rest police responding to a smoke alarm call at the store discovered an “unusually small door (with a peep hole installed) that led to a poorly constructed hallway” opening into a room where three gaming machines were located, according to the incident report.

As was the case in May's incident, Gardner said the machines seized Monday were “consistent with illegal gaming” and transported to a judge, who ruled the machines be destroyed barring any objections raised with the court.

Although not able to elaborate on the specifics of Monday's search warrant execution, Gardner said the agency had information that there were illegal machines in operation at the store.

The case is currently being investigated, and charges are pending, Gardner said.