WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Four men face charges in a federal investigation centered around illegal gambling in Wichita. Thursday, we learned two of those men were Wichita police officers when the FBI says the crimes happened.
Another was a trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Bruce Mackey, 45, Goddard, Kan. and Michael Zajkowski, 50, Wichita, Kan., both of whom were Wichita police officers at that time, along with Brock Wedman, 48, of St. Marys, Kan., are charged with one count of obstructing law enforcement. In addition, Wedman is charged with lying to the FBI about the incident.
Michael Frederiksen, 52, Derby, Kan., is charged with two counts of making false statements to FBI investigators. A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Wichita alleges that in 2014, while Frederiksen was still a Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper, he was filmed taking part in an illegal cash poker game.
An unsealed indictment alleges Wedman and a co-conspirator sponsored that illegal poker game which took place in Wichita on Feb. 12, 2014.
The complaint goes on to say the FBI had a video of Frederiksen playing in the game which was located at 922 1/2 E. Douglas in the Old Town. The site was equipped with poker tables, a cabinet for valuables and poker chips, video surveillance equipment, liquor and snacks. Staff included dealers, someone serving food and a waitress serving drinks and giving massages to the players.
An undercover investigator who was at the game posing as a gambler tried to use a cell phone to take photos.
Wedman suspected the man was an undercover officer and wanted to know if the car he was driving belonged to the City of Wichita.
Zajkowski and Macey made a series of calls and sent texts attempting to use police resources to determine who owned the car. They gave Wedman reason to believe an undercover officer was present and confirmed his car was registered to the City of Wichita and in service to the Wichita Police Department.
According to the complaint, the undercover investigator observed Daven Flax, also known as "Smoke," collecting cash in exchange for poker chips, participating in the card game and paying out cash to players in the game. Flax pleaded guilty to two counts of operating an illegal gambling business on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.
The complaint states Flax and B.W. summoned the undercover investigator into a private room to talk about the photos he was taking. B.W. said that "technically" the games were illegal and that he (the undercover investigator) was making the other players nervous by taking photos with his phone. B.W. then indicated it was up to Flax whether the man could stay which Flax allowed.
On Feb. 23, 2017, Frederiksen was interviewed by FBI agents investigating illegal gambling businesses in Wichita.
The FBI also knew that Fredericksen had frequent contact with one of the organizers of the poker game, identified in the charges as J.S.
During the FBI interview, Fredericksen made false statements, downplaying his involvement in illegal poker and his relationship with the operator of the poker game.
If convicted, Fredericksen faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
When the FBI interviewed Wedman in February 2017, he falsely denied he gave the co-defendants the license plate number and VIN number of the car and asked them to find out who owned it.
Upon conviction, both counts against him carry a penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.