Fayette County man guilty of being a bookie

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A Fayette County man this morning pleaded guilty in Common Pleas Court to being a bookie.

Jeffrey F. Risha, 59, of Belle Vernon was sentenced to one year of probation by Judge Donald E. Machen.

More than $13,000 seized in his bookmaking operation has already been forfeited said deputy attorney general Michael Ahwesh.

Mr. Risha was arrested as part of "Operation Pork Chop," a grand jury investigation into video gambling in the Mon Valley.

Investigators came across Mr. Risha as part of that, but he was not involved in the video ring, Mr. Ahwesh said.

Undercover investigators placed bets with Mr. Risha for a couple months before his arrest.

"He's the best at taking bets over the phone I've ever seen," the prosecutor said. "He's a magician."

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