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Underground Poker: Ex-Kansas Cop Admits To Outing Undercover Investigator

Feds Secure Guilty Plea In Case Targeting Illegal Poker Operation

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A former police officer in Witchita, Kansas has admitted to helping the organizers of an underground poker game identify a suspected undercover investigator at the tables, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

In U.S. District court in Kansas, ex-cop Bruce Markey pleaded guilty to one count of “misprison of a felony.” Markey also admitted to knowing about the illegal poker game business and not doing anything to stop it. Instead, he was a participant.

The poker operation was said to be raking in more than $2,000 per day, offering poker players professional-quality dealers, waitresses, catering and security. A poker game on the night of Feb. 14, 2014 in Wichita drew the special attention of federal prosecutors. Years later, the game resulted in Mackey taking a plea deal that could see him serve up to three years in prison.

In the plea agreement, Mackey, 46, admitted to helping the organizers determine that an undercover investigator was in the underground poker room that night. According to the government, federal authorities were looking into illegal gambling with ties to public corruption in Wichita since late 2011, and that’s how the poker games were put in the cross-hairs.

The organizers of the poker game “suspected that an undercover Wichita police officer had infiltrated the game,” according to the plea agreement. Mackey “suspected who the undercover officer was” and informed the organizers “that the person was in fact a police officer.” He provided the name of the undercover investigator to the organizers of the poker game.

Mackey and two co-defendants were indicted late last year with obstruction of state or local law enforcement. Along with Mackey, former police officer Michael Zajkowski and an organizer of the game, Brock Wedman, were accused of obstructing a criminal investigation.

The 2017 indictment alleged that Wedman began to suspect something was wrong after the phony poker player began snapping photos, and he wanted to know if the car the man was driving belonged to the city of Wichita. Wedman and an unindicted co-conspirator asked Mackey and Zajkowski—the two police officers playing poker that night—for help determining if their suspicions were correct, the government said.

Zajkowski and Mackey made a series of calls and sent texts attempting to use police resources to determine who owned the car, the indictment said. They confirmed to Wedman that the car was registered to the City of Wichita and in service to the Wichita Police Department.

Zajkowski and Wedman’s respective cases are still pending.

 
 
Tags: Kansas