6 Defendants Released Following Arraignment On Federal Gambling Charges

Monday, September 24th 2012, 11:41 pm
By: News 9

Nearly two years after his wife's murder, Teddy Mitchell and his family are back in the headlines. Federal authorities are calling the "Teddy Mitchell case" a major investigation into illegal gambling.

9/24/2012 Related Story: Federal Indictment Names Teddy Mitchell, 9 Others In Gambling Ring

"He's been under the most intense scrutiny for the last two years not only due to his wife's murder but also to this gambling investigation," Scott Adams, Teddy Mitchell's attorney said.

High-stakes poker player Teddy Mitchell and his two sons are at the center of the operation, according to federal officials. An 81-count indictment unsealed Monday names nine men, including seven from Oklahoma, and a Costa Rican corporation.

As of Monday night, Teddy Mitchell was still in jail. His detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Six defendants, including Teddy's sons, were released from the federal courthouse in downtown Oklahoma City Monday as they now await trial.

Of the 81 counts, 52 are being thrown at Teddy. The remaining counts target his sons, Dryden and Nick as well as Teddy's alleged poker buddies. All seven Oklahoma defendants are pleading not guilty. Federal authorities say members of the operation laundered money through a Costa Rican business.

9/24/2012 Related Story: Teddy Mitchell, Sons Plead Not Guilty To Illegal Gambling Charges

"[Teddy] is a professional gambler," Adams said. "[He] always has been a professional gambler."

Defense Attorneys say the government is coming down very hard on the suspects.

"[Government officials] flexed their muscles on Friday and arrested a bunch of guys that they didn't need to arrest," Billy Bock, Dryden Mitchell's attorney said. "We would have turned them in."

Bock calls it an FBI investigation into allegations of a victimless crime and a waste of taxpayer money.

"We don't waste taxpayer dollars on investigations that are insignificant," James Finch with the FBI said.

After court, News 9 stopped by the house Dryden and Nick are living in as they await their trial. No one was home. Outside of court Monday, family members left without saying a word to reporters. The six defendants released Monday were ordered not to have any communication with Teddy Mitchell or witnesses in the case. They also must not leave Oklahoma.

The trial date has been scheduled for November 13, 2012.