On Feb. 8, Irving Comer and Kerry Comer, both employees of alleged illegal video-poker operator Jackie Shepherd, signed plea deals with federal prosecutors. The two plead guilty to running an illegal gambling operation while also agreeing to pay over $165,000 and testify.
Federal prosecutors allege that Shepherd ran an illegal video-poker ring with 41 machines at 10 locations in Buncombe and Madison counties, splitting profits roughly halfway with store owners. Both of the Comers confessed to helping run those operations, collecting money from the machines.
Shepherd was a long-time backer and campaign donor to former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford, currently awaiting his March 25 trial, with three of his deputies, on corruption charges. The pleas leave Medford and his deputies, along with Shepherd, his son and stepson, alone in facing the federal charges, after Hot Dog King owner Demetre Theodossis, also known as “Jimmy the Greek,” copped a plea earlier this month.
— David Forbes, staff writer