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Defendant in Sky Lake case pleas

One defendant involved in an alleged gambling operation at Sky Lake pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Loretta Akers, 57, of 1441 County Road 32, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to amended counts of misdemeanor possession of criminal tools and misdemeanor operating gambling house.

She was originally arraigned on two first-degree counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, 10 counts of third-degree money laundering, four misdemeanor counts of gambling and a fifth-degree count of possession of criminal tools.

The pay lake was raided by county and state law enforcement in July 2014 following an investigation into illegal gambling. During the raid, nearly two dozen gambling machines were confiscated, as well as more than $68,000 in cash that is alleged to be “contraband and/or property derived from or through the commission or facilitation” of the crimes. Bank records were also seized.

Also charged in the case was Terry Ellis, 55, of 1830 County Road 52, Chesapeake. He was charged with two first-degree counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, 12 counts of third-degree money laundering, four counts of fifth-degree possession of criminal tools, three counts of misdemeanor gambling and three counts of misdemeanor operating a gambling house.

A trial is expected to take place Feb. 21-24.