9 charged with running illegal gambling operation

A federal grand jury in Harrisburg has indicted nine area residents on charges they were involved in running an illegal sports betting operation.

Steven Sheely Sr., 59; Staci Sheely, 52; Ralph Domene, 47, all of Camp Hill; Steven Sheely Jr., 39; Brian Fertenbaugh, 43, both of Mechanicsburg; John McDonald, 37; Roger Charles Vaneslow II, 44, both of New Cumberland; James Fox, 46, of Harrisburg; and Bret Hager, 42, of Carlisle, were charged Wednesday with four counts of running an illegal gambling operation, money laundering and criminal conspiracy, according to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith.

Smith said it is a federal crime if five or more people are involved in running such an operation, and it operated continuously for more than 30 days or had gross receipts of at least $2,000 in any given day.

The indictment, which alleges the operation was ongoing over the last six months, contained a forfeiture allegation, which means that if any or all of the defendants are convicted of the charges, they may be required to forfeit all illegal gambling proceeds, Smith said.

Each count of money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The charge of operating an illegal gambling business is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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