2 more arrests made in connection to 9th district election fraud

Two more people have been arrested in connection to the 9th congressional district election fraud.

RELATED: Caitlyn Croom arrested in connection to 9th district election fraud, SBI says

Tonia Marie Gordon was arrested Tuesday after turning herself in at the Magistrate's Office in Bladen County.

Gordon has been charged with conspiracy to commit felonious obstruction of justice and possession of absentee ballot.

In addition, Matthew Monroe Mathis was arrested Tuesday in Sampson County, without incident, by the Sampson County Sheriff's Office.

Mathis has been charged with conspiracy to commit felonious obstruction of justice, possession of absentee ballot and falsely signing certification on an absentee ballot.

The SBI is working with local law enforcement to arrest Rebecca D. Thompson in connection to this investigation.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative at the center of the investigation, was arrested last week on criminal charges over activities in the 2016 elections and the Republican primary in 2018.

Dowless faces charges of three counts felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of absentee ballots.

According to testimony and other findings detailed at an election board hearing last week, Dowless conducted an illegal "ballot harvesting" operation. He and his assistants are accused of gathering up absentee ballots from voters by offering to put them in the mail.

He was working on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris, who had a slim lead in the vote count before the investigation.
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