PA Racing Commission Among Agencies Involved in Busting Illegal Gambling Ring

by | 05.22.2014 | 6:51pm

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Steven Sheely, Sr., 59, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; Staci Sheely, 52, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; Steven Sheely, Jr., 39, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; John McDonald, 37, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania; James Fox, 46, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Bret Hager, 42, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Brian Fertenbaugh, 43, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Ralph Domene, 47, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; and Roger Charles Vaneslow, II, 44, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg charging them with four counts of running an illegal gambling operation, money laundering, and criminal conspiracy.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury found probable cause to believe that all were involved in running a sports betting operation. It is a federal crime if five or more individuals 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 alleges that it was in operation over the last six months. All nine were also charged with money laundering and conspiracy. Additionally, the indictment 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 to the United States all illegal gambling proceeds.

Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment on each count if convicted of the money laundering or money laundering conspiracy charges and fines of up to $500,000 on each of those counts. The charge of operating an illegal gambling business and criminal conspiracy are each punishable by up to five years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each of those counts.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Harrisburg Resident Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.

Indictments and criminal informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances, and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public, and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational, and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

  • Hamish

    Sounds like this group must have been betting on horses if the PA Racing Commission is involved? If they were, what a bunch of dopes, given the fact that the feds have been watching PA for many years now.

  • Driveway sealer

    One has to wonder if one of Scott lakes owners who also allegedly has long run a book operation took a big dump in his pants today. I heard the Feds were told about him too.

  • Peyton Charles Lasiter

    This smells of betting on doped horses.

  • Hot Dog King

    Maybe the feds will just go away if we offer them free hot dogs on a special night. I wonder if this crew had a base of operations or some favorite haunts where they did their work. Hmmmmmmm

  • No more bets for you guys

    This ring has been taking bets for years and it was a million dollar ring. You had doctors, lawyers, local judges, cops some high power politics making wagers. And this group would take any wager from $25 to 100k the ring leader Steve Shelly Sr was behind it all. If they would have waited a little longer this case would be much bigger cause there’s some local business behind this also who helped hide the money. And yes some of the races were fixed cause the ring leader has a friend who owns horses. There is so much more behind this ring that what people think. Remember years ago the card game busted in upper Allen yep Steve behind that one also but the guy busted never flipped on him. Trust me I know a lot about this group I had a friend who played with them for years and lost everything from these scum bags who thought no one could touch them and would hurt or threaten you if did not pay them. I hope they go away for long time and lose everything they have. Take a drive some time over in Camp Hill by the country club and look at Steve’s big nice house could be your’s soon.

    • TT

      You are such a douchebag. You have no clue what you are talking about. It’s hiliraious Looking for some attention I see. This blows over like a fart in the wind.

  • Rug Sweeper

    It’s hilarious to see the PA State Racing Commission get any credit for this. They have swept so much dirt under the rug and have turned a blind eye to virtually every piece of corruption that was called to their attention. It’s their ineptness, and political ties to the local racing community that has allowed for this to become such a filthy mess. They only started to cooperate, when cornered and coming to the realization that the FEDS were taking everything down. What a hoax… They should be disbanded

    • Card player 101

      The problem is when you have State officials, trainers, and dealers from the casion placing bets with this group and allowing it at the casion while you turn a blind eye. I play cards there and know 3 of the guys. So why did our State let this go for so long?

  • Hamish


  • betterthannothing

    Some of us only hate you for how you treated your poor horses.

  • barb2000

    Is this written in English?

  • Duke

    why don’t you just go away

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