North Carolina’s Harrah’s Valley River Casino Arrest Leads to $3M Worth of Marijuana

Posted on: December 10, 2021, 10:44h. 

Last updated on: December 10, 2021, 12:10h.

Over 900 pounds of suspected marijuana was seized on Thursday by police at North Carolina’s Harrah’s Valley River Casino. It has an estimated street value of $3 million, police revealed.

The drugs were found in a U-Haul rental truck
Some of the marijuana seized at a North Carolina casino, pictured above. Police said in total it has a street value of $3 million. (Image: WTVC)

On Thursday morning, police responded to a domestic violence report at the tribal gaming property.

Upon arrival, officers from the Cherokee Indian Police Department (CIPD) initially charged Brandon Thomas Jones, 27, of Ten Mile, Tenn. with assault, as well as possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia.

A woman involved in the domestic violence incident then called for a ride. The driver picking her up arrived in a U-Haul truck. It had an Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) North Carolina license plate.

Police were suspicious of the license plate and asked to search the vehicle. During the search, officers discovered syringes, two firearms, and marijuana inside the U-Haul.

Brandon Thomas Jones (left) and Daniel Jerry Wiggins, pictured in mug shots. They were arrested at a Harrah’s casino in North Carolina. (Image: Cherokee Indian Police Department)

The search led to the arrest of Daniel Jerry Wiggins, 28, also of Ten Mile. He was charged with trafficking a controlled substance and displaying a fictitious tag. Additional charges are likely, police said, according to a report from WTVC, a local TV station.

Limited Smoking Returns to Casino

In other recent news about Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, that gaming property, as well as Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy, will soon welcome back smokers.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ (EBCI) Tribal Council this week voted in favor of an ordinance that permits indoor casino smoking only in specially-designed enclosed areas. Smoking containments must prevent any flow of smoke and vapor onto the common gaming floor, where smoking will remain prohibited.

EBCI leaders voluntarily suspended indoor smoking in the spring of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) organization estimated in May that more than 160 tribal casinos ban indoor smoking. Nearly 1,100 commercial casinos ban indoor smoking, too.