More Indicted in Wichita Underground Poker Bust
A case surrounding the bust of an underground poker game in Wichita, Kan., continues to unfold as four more men were indicted on charges, including two former police officers and one former Kansas Highway Patrol trooper.
This latest news comes hot on the heels of two guilty pleas last week from individuals charged in the bust.
Here's a look at the latest group of charged individuals, per KWCH in Wichita:
- Bruce Mackey, 45, of Goddard, Kan.
- Michael Zajkowski, 50, of Wichita, Kan.
- Brock Wedman, 48, of St. Marys, Kan.
- Michael Frederiksen, 52, of Derby, Kan.
Mackey and Zajkowski served as officers in the Wichita police force while being involved in the illegal games, while Frederiksen was a state trooper.
According to KWCH, an undercover officer infiltrated the underground poker game, hosted by Wedman and another unidentified man in February 2014. The officer documented the game with a cell phone, with Frederiksen identified as a participant.
Wedman and others at the game grew suspicious after noting the officer's cell phone use. Those running the game, including Daven Flax — one of those who pleaded guilty last week — pulled the officer aside to question him about the photos he was taking but ultimately allowed him to continue playing in the game.
Wedman corresponded with Mackey and Zajkowski, who used police resources to look up the license plate and VIN number of the car that the undercover officer drove to the game. They subsequently confirmed the car was registered with the Wichita Police Department and the game was moved to different locations in the future.
Authorities hit Wedman, Mackey and Zajkowski with charges of obstructing law enforcement, while Wedman was also charged with lying to the FBI about providing the complicit officers with the vehicle's information.
Frederiksen was also questioned by the FBI about his involvement in the game and allegedly made false statements to investigators.
All four involved could face prison time — up to five years per count — and fines up to $250,000 per count.
The government recommended "lenient" sentences in the wake of last week's guilty pleas, according to The Wichita Eagle, so it remains to be seen what exactly will come of these charges if the four latest indicted individuals choose to take that route.
The most prominent poker player by far connected to the investigation remains Wichita businessman and well-known high stakes player Brandon Steven. He said he was cooperating fully with authorities and just unveiled a ritzy new steakhouse he opened, so he appears to be clear of any charges as of this time.
Photo courtesy of Jason Morrison/freeimages.com
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