Ronald Ehli makes his first appearance on charges related to an illegal gambling ring in Lewis County Superior Court.

No More Jail Time for Man Who Operated Massive Gambling Operation in Chehalis

By The Chronicle

A man charged with being behind a multimillion-dollar sports betting operation in Chehalis a decade ago will spend no additional time in jail after pleading guilty. 

Ronald W. Ehli, 58, was charged May 17 with second-degree professional gambling and unlawfully transmitting or receiving gambling information. 

He pleaded guilty to the charges on July 21 and was sentenced to 364 days in jail with 353 suspended, with credit for 11 days already served. 

As part of his sentence, he will be expected to pay $3,699.35 in court fees and fines. 

Information on restitution was not included in his sentencing documents. 

According to court documents, a special agent with the Washington State Gambling Commission’s Criminal Intelligence Unit began investigating a website called sportsbetting.com in March 2008. He linked the site and betting operation to Ehli, who allegedly ran the organization out of an office on Boistfort Street in Chehalis. 

In September 2008, agents visited the office and seized evidence, but learned Ehli had recently moved to Costa Rica. 

Investigators seized about $5 million as ill-gotten gains from Ehli, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office, and a nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest.

Prosecutors told The Chronicle Ehli was likely living in Central America in the years since then. He was arrested in April by the U.S. State Department at the Nicaragua border after questions arose about his passport.