Illegal Sports Betting Operation Leads to Massachusetts Jail Sentence

Posted on: October 26, 2022, 06:45h. 

Last updated on: October 26, 2022, 02:51h.

A Massachusetts man is heading to jail after he pleaded guilty last week to operating an illegal sports wagering scheme. Nine other suspects were indicted in the operation.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, pictured above. She announced the sentence for a man who pleaded guilty to running an illegal sports betting operation. (Image: Boston Globe)

Lonnie Hillson, 59, of Melrose, was sentenced to one year of incarceration in Middlesex Superior Court before Judge Patrick Haggan. Hillson was also sentenced to three years probation, which is concurrent with the jail sentence.

The counts are organizing and promoting gambling, registration of bets, use of the phone for gambling, conspiracy to register bets, and attempted extortion.

Hillson was indicted in 2018.

This defendant ran an illegal and predatory criminal enterprise that pushed bettors into debt and tried to extort an undercover officer for money,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.

As part of the investigation, searches were made of eight residences, two businesses, five vehicles, and a dozen bank accounts. Betting slips, gaming ledgers, paperwork, parlay cards, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash were seized, authorities said. Illegal bets were made over the telephone and arrests were made after a Massachusetts state trooper infiltrated the operation.

Hillson and his relatives, including his father, Lon Hillson Sr., 74, and Marcia Hillson, 72, ran the illicit operation in Melrose residences, officials said. Also indicted were Dennis Willcox, 43, of Everett, Anthony DiMare, 57, of Medford, Donald Dimare, 65, of Medford, John Whalen, 52, of Medford, and Rocco Longo, 45, of Revere. Each was charged with attempted extortion.

In addition, John Rothfuchs, 62, of Boxborough and Paul Limone, 58, of Medford were indicted on organizing and promoting gambling, registration of bets, use of the phone for gambling, and money laundering. It is not clear what happened to the other cases in court.