In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Charlotte law enforcement was busily busting up illegal gambling operations. Even the beloved Oriental Restaurant on West Trade Street was raided in 1960.
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Working from a tip from a Charlotte Observer reporter federal agents and city police officers struck at a huge lottery operation in October, 1959. Agents seized $1,285 in bills and change, and a large load of gambling materials.
The lottery was of the type known as “butter and eggs,” or “the numbers game.” Players bet that a certain combination of numbers will appear in butter and egg quotations issued daily from the Chicago Produce Market.
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A total of 12 houses and a cafe were raided by carloads of police and federal men who struck just as the sun was rising over Charlotte.
The first two men arrested were Carl T. Lippard, 30, of Park Road and Willie Sondley of 2001 Saint Luke St. Six carloads of federal agents and police trapped Lippard and Sondley at 6:10 a.m. in the parking lot of Crompton-Knowles Corp. at 1505 Hutchison Ave., (renamed Graham Street over 50 years ago) where Sondley worked as a janitor.
When the officers moved in on Lippard and Sondley, Lippard had allegedly just received from Sondley a large envelope containing tickets and money for bets placed with the ring over the weekend.