Former Newkirk Deputy sentenced in gambling case

Thursday, December 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEWKIRK, Okla. (AP) -- A two-year deferred sentence has been handed down to a former Kay County sheriff's deputy accused of knowing about but taking no action against gambling activities near Ponca City. Rodney Meeks, 58, was also fined $2,500 on Wednesday and ordered to do 100 hours of community service.

Meeks, a 28-year law enforcement officer, was in charge of criminal investigations for the sheriff's office when he was charged with two counts of collusion in April 1997. He was accused of failing to take action against a gambling operation, although he was aware of it. Meeks was suspended without pay after a multicounty grand jury indicted him and three other men. He eventually left the sheriff's office.

Meeks, who spent 18 years with the Ponca City police department, entered a so-called "Alford plea," which allowed him to maintain his innocence but at the same time not contest the state's evidence against him. Meeks was the last of the four to be sentenced. Loren Earl "Cookie" Scott, 56, pleaded guilty in August 1997 to one count of conspiracy to commit commercial gambling. The othercharges were dropped.

Scott, of Ponca City, was given a 10-year suspended sentence but was ordered to serve eight weekends in jail. Jeff Jake "Bob" Hargraves, 49, pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts of commercial gambling. Hargraves received a 15-year prison sentence. A Kay County jury convicted Jerry Morris, 52, of perjury, and he received a 30-day jail sentence.