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Arrests made in robbery of illegal poker parlor allegedly run by elderly NC women

A Gastonia man has reportedly been charged in that bizarre robbery of an illegal poker parlor in Cherryville that was allegedly operated in a basement by two elderly woman.

The Gaston Gazette reports Ralph Delane Cunningham Jr., 40, has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon in the case, along with second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, conspiring to commit a robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony conspiracy.

The robbery happened March 21 in Cherryville at the home of 71-year-old Jerry Shepherd, media outlets have reported.

Investigators told the Gazette that Cunningham conspired with Detra Latoshia Tate on the robbery. Gaston County Police told the Gazette that Tate was arrested in Cleveland County last week and is out on bail.

Shepherd admitted to overseeing illegal poker games at her home, including four video poker machines, the Gazette reported. All the machines were removed by the time police were called to the scene.

Police say Cunningham stole $2,000 from Shepherd using a semi-automatic pistol to threaten her. He also allegedly attempted to take a diamond ring valued at $10,000, but a 73-year-old woman at the home pepper sprayed him, causing him to flee.

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