Wichita Cops Arrested in FBI Bust of Kansas Underground Poker Game

Two Wichita, Kansas, police officers and a state highway patrol trooper have been charged with obstructing an FBI investigation following an illegal poker game.

FBI agents making arrest

The FBI in Kansas busted an illegal poker game that turned out to be quite popular with state and local law enforcement officers. (Image: fbi.gov)

According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, Bruce Mackey, 45, Michael Zajkowski, 50, and Brock Wedman, 48, were all involved in an illegal poker game during which an FBI investigator was present.

All three have been charged with obstructing law enforcement. Additionally, Wedman faces one count of lying to the FBI.

Cops Playing Poker

With the FBI agent posing as a player, the indictment alleges that Wedman became suspicious of who he might be and asked Mackey and Zajkowski for help identifying him. Both men were Wichita police officers at the time, and reportedly were able to confirm that the man’s car was registered to the city’s legal department.

On the night in question, neither Wedman nor the local police officers confronted the mystery player. However, the filing shows that the game was moved to a new location the following evening.

Also named in the case is another former Kansas Highway Patrol trooper, Michael Frederiksen. Using a mobile phone, the undercover agent filmed Frederiksen taking part in the underground poker game. In addition to this evidence, the FBI claims that Frederiksen had close links to the game’s organizer.

FBI Investigation

As part of the FBI’s investigation, all four men were called in for questioning. During the recorded interviews, the men downplayed their involvement in the game, with Mackey and Zajkowski, in particular, denying an abuse of their powers.

Wedman denied asking Mackey and Zajkowski to help him identify the unknown man, which led to the additional charge against him. Frederiksen is also facing criminal charges. For his part in the game and subsequent testimony, the former Trooper was charged with two counts of making false statements to the FBI.

If found guilty, all four men could spend time in a federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

The latest set of indictments look to be part of a larger FBI investigation. Just days earlier, two men, Danny Chapman, 67, and Daven Flax, 46, pleaded guilty to unlawful betting practices and tax evasion.

Chapman was reportedly making more than $2,000-a-day running an illegal sports betting ring, while Flax is alleged to be behind a network of illegal poker games than ran from 2013 to 2017. Details of the pleas were unsealed on Jan. 12, just six days before the latest group of me were charged.

Daniel Smyth
Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.


BentleyBoy wrote...

I love this story! Cops playing unlawful cards! Undercover agents playing cards! Why on earth is playing cards unlawful? Its just a game after all! I intend finding time to read about the overarching FBI Investigation to which this article refers as I am somewhat intrigued to see how playing cards has got involved in such a big investigation! As for the undercover agent turning up in a car registered to the city! Well……. he deserves to be found out for that alone!

Infinity Objective wrote...

Maybe I’ll start writing “interested party” letters to federal judges with the suggested line to be used to the prosecution – You have nothing better to do with yours and their (FBI) time.

When they made the bust I wonder if they came heavy with tactical gear, and automatic weapons. Heck arresting cops I thought they would go in it with corruption, color of law too, nope lame gambling, lame…

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