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Recruiter for illegal poker games pleads guilty to trying to out undercover cop

Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

A St. Mary’s man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he sought to expose an undercover police officer who had infiltrated Wichita’s illegal high-stakes poker scene.

Brock Wedman, 50, admitted that he helped organize and recruit players for illegal gambling operations and that he and two Wichita police officers worked together to out the undercover cop who was posing as a gambler.

“Wedman did not know it, but a man he invited to play was a Wichita Police Department officer working undercover to investigate organized gambling,” said a statement from U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. “When Wedman became suspicious, he found the undercover officer’s car and took down the license plate and VIN numbers.”

Wedman shared the information with two Wichita police officers, Bruce Mackey and Michael Zajkowski, who were part of the gambling ring, court records said.

Using police computer resources, “Zajkowski and Mackey provided the undercover officer’s identity and the vehicle information (it was registered to the city of Wichita and in service of the WPD) to defendant Wedman and other co-conspirators,” the original indictment said.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to ask for Wedman to be sentenced to a year of probation.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1, the U.S. attorney’s statement said.

Mackey has already pleaded guilty and was sentenced in September to a year of probation, said Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Zajkowski is scheduled to go to court on Tuesday and has indicated he will also enter a guilty plea, Cross said.

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Senior Journalist Dion Lefler has been providing award-winning coverage of local government, politics and business in Wichita for 20 years. Dion hails from Los Angeles, where he worked for the LA Daily News, the Pasadena Star-News and other papers. He’s a father of twins, director of lay servant ministries in the United Methodist Church and plays second base for the Old Cowtown vintage baseball team.