The FBI claims Teddy Mitchell involved his wife in the illegal poker games at their Oklahoma City home before she was beaten to death in 2010.
Teddy Mitchell, 58, is accused in a federal indictment of making millions of dollars by hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his home and by illegally taking bets on sporting events.
He has pleaded not guilty.
His wife, Julie Mitchell, 34, was killed at their home Nov. 2, 2010, while he was traveling out of state. Police have not arrested anyone in her death.
New details about the FBI investigation of Teddy Mitchell are in an 84-page court affidavit unsealed last week.
Mitchell's “illegal gambling business ... has been in continuous operation from at least 1990 to November 2010,” FBI Special Agent Francis J. Bowles Jr. reported in the affidavit. “Mitchell operated this illegal gambling business with the assistance of his wife Julie Bryant Mitchell, (his) sons Dryden Ryley Mitchell and Nick Mitchell ... and others.”
The agent reported more than 10 reliable witnesses provided statements that Julie Mitchell, Dryden Mitchell and Nick Mitchell “participated directly in the illegal gambling business by taking bets, dealing at poker games and/or keeping books and records of the illegal gambling activity.”
One cooperating witness identified Julie Mitchell as a card dealer at the poker games, according to the court affidavit.
“Mitchell's driveway and yard was full of vehicles used by gamblers involved in the poker games,” the FBI agent wrote.
“The poker games were held every Tuesday, from about 6:30 p.m. to about 2 a.m., and every Thursday from about 1 p.m. to late evening or early the next morning, in the pool house located in Mitchell's backyard. ... Catered food was usually provided by Mitchell for the card players.”
Pots at the high-stakes table got as high as $25,000 per hand, according to the affidavit.
A federal grand jury in September indicted Teddy Mitchell, sons Dryden Mitchell and Nick Mitchell, six other men and a Costa Rican company.
Teddy Mitchell contends he is a professional gambler who acted legally. He and Julie Mitchell married in April 2005.
He is on home detention while awaiting trial.
The jury trial is set to begin April 9 in federal court in Oklahoma City.
“He paid taxes on everything. He felt that all that he was doing was all legal. That's our position,” his attorney, Scott Adams, said Sunday.
The FBI agent also revealed in the affidavit that Teddy Mitchell had been under investigation for eight years before his indictment.
The agent revealed that witnesses stated Teddy Mitchell has been a bookie taking sports bets his entire adult life.
“Interviews have shown Mitchell began working as a bookie for Pody Poe, who ran a notorious gambling enterprise in the 1970s and 1980s,” the agent reported. “A book written about Pody Poe's life devoted an entire chapter to his protegee, Teddy Mitchell.
“Poe was convicted of federal gambling charges ... and Mitchell continued working as a bookie on his own. Interviews of gambling clients and other bookies ... revealed that Mitchell is reputed to have started the illegal gambling business as the youngest bookie in Oklahoma and to have the largest or second largest illegal gambling business in the state, in terms of number of clients and money received from illegal gambling.”
The agent reported identifying more than 50 gamblers who were clients of Teddy Mitchell or Dryden Mitchell.
Two clients said in interviews they began using Teddy Mitchell as a bookie more than 20 years ago, the agent wrote in the affidavit. “One ... said he first bet with Mitchell in 1984 or 1985,” the agent wrote.
The agent reported another client paid Teddy Mitchell at least $430,000 in gambling debts owed for betting on college football games.
The individual “admitted to betting from $1,000 to $5,000 per football game, approximately 12 games per week, every week during college football season, from approximately 2002 through 2006,” the agent reported.
The court affidavit shows that witnesses also told the FBI Teddy Mitchell was involved in placing illegal gambling machines in businesses.
One witness reported Teddy Mitchell received large cash payments each week from business owners.