Nguyet Thi O'Rourke, an Annandale woman who police said was the "kingpin" of a sports betting ring in the Northern Virginia Vietnamese community, was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in the Arlington jail and three years of supervised probation.
O'Rourke, of 7910 Charles Thompson La., pleaded guilty in April to conducting an illegal gambling operation and conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling operation. Police and prosecutors described the betting ring as a "high-level" operation that took in as much as $53,000 on a single day.
Police said the gambling operation, which involved at least three "writers" who would accept wagers on O'Rourke's behalf and phone the information to her, took in about $100,000 a week for several years.
O'Rourke and her attorney, Robert Thompson, asked Judge Thomas R. Monroe not to impose a jail sentence. Choking back tears, O'Rourke said, "I just ask you to forgive me this time, because the first time I do it, I don't know . . . don't put me in jail."
"I just cannot help but feel that she knew something was wrong," Monroe said before imposing the sentence. "She knew it was illegal, and in spite of that she continued to participate in it for over 2 1/2 months."
Monroe sentenced O'Rourke to 30 days in jail on each charge, ordering that the terms run concurrently. The judge said that O'Rourke, who has a 4-year-old daughter as well as two grown children, could serve the 30-day sentence on weekends, beginning next Friday.