By Brian Livingston
During an arraignment Tuesday morning in Jackson, eight Meridian residents in a federal gambling case all entered pleas of not guilty.
John Dowdy, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Jackson, said the eight people, William Wayne (Bill) Gordon Sr., 79, his wife, Mildred Gordon, 76, William Wayne (Wayne) Gordon Jr. 55, Dennis Michael Gordon, 54, Nellie Miller, 50, Cameron Gordon, 24, Richard McKissack, 50, and Christopher Crawford, 38, appeared in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball to enter their pleas. Dowdy said each of the defendants were placed on an unsecured bond of $10,000.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, William Wayne (Bill) Gordon, Sr., Mildred Gordon, William Wayne (Wayne) Gordon Jr., Nellie Miller, Cameron Gordon, Dennis Michael Gordon, Richard McKissack and Christopher Crawford are charged in count one of an indictment with conspiracy to commit a federal offense. In count two of the indictment, U.S. Attorney's Office authorities said William Wayne (Bill) Gordon, Sr., Mildred Gordon, William Wayne (Wayne) Gordon, Jr., Nellie Miller, Cameron Godon, Richard McKissack, and Christopher Crawford are charged with operating an illegal gambling business. Dowdy said each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The federal indictment, handed down last week, states that the charges are associated with the operation of illegal gambling businesses from November 2011 through at least May 14, 2013. The indictment states the offenses occurred at The Snack Shack, located at 1479 Highway 11 and 80, The Sports Connection, located at 501 46th Avenue, and The New Place, located at 401 23rd Avenue.
The indictment also gives notice of the United States intent to seek criminal forfeiture of eight pieces of real property in Meridian associated with the alleged criminal conduct, as well as $125,905 in U.S. currency seized from the locations.
Dowdy said the trial has been set for Feb. 4, 2014 in Jackson with Judge Dan Jordan presiding.