Four Charles County businessmen charged in connection with a months-long probe into illegal gambling were fined a total of $12,500 yesterday.

Charles County District Court Judge Robert C. Nalley imposed probation before judgment and a $1,000 fine on Frank Hollewa, a vice president of Washington Gas Light Co.

Hollewa entered a no contest plea to one count of illegal sports wagering.

Nalley also imposed a $2,000 fine on Michael Meissner, owner of Rascal's Saloon in Waldorf.

Meissner pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing, maintaining and operating illegally electronic video poker machines.

Businessman John L. Sprague, a brother of state Del. Michael J. Sprague, pleaded guilty to six gambling counts and agreed to pay a $6,000 fine, as part of a sentencing agreement accepted by District Court Judge C. Clarke Raley.

Raley also levied a fine of $3,500 on Lawrence M. Ferris, who pleaded guilty to seven gambling counts related to video poker machines at Earl's Truck Stop in Bel Alton.

Ferris agreed to forfeit the machines and $210,000 in allegedly illegal proceeds seized from the truck stop.

William Ferris, the father of Lawrence, committed suicide June 27, a day before his employes were scheduled to appear before the grand jury.