Tulsa Talons co-owner admits gambling

A co-owner of the Tulsa Talons admitted to the FBI that he was a gambler involved with sports “bookie” Teddy Mitchell, The Oklahoman has learned. Paul Alexander Ross, 52, said, “We were stupid.” The Tulsa Talons were an Arena Football League team.
by Nolan Clay and Robby Trammell Modified: December 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012
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© The Oklahoman, 2012

A co-owner of the Tulsa Talons has admitted to the FBI that he was a gambler who dealt with Oklahoma City sports “bookie” Teddy Mitchell, The Oklahoman has learned.

Paul Alexander Ross, 52, confirmed Wednesday he told FBI agents that he and a group of friends bet online on sporting events and dealt with Mitchell. “We were stupid,” he said.

The Tulsa Talons was an Arena Football League team that played in Tulsa for years before being sold after the 2011 season. The team now plays in San Antonio and is known as the San Antonio Talons.

“I'm not hiding the fact that I and some of my buddies used me as the point guy to bet and we bet with this guy, Teddy Mitchell. I don't know any more than that,” Ross told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “We lost money.”

Ross said he does not think he did anything wrong and never bet on Arena Football League games. He does not face any charges.

Mitchell, 58, is awaiting trial in Oklahoma City on a federal indictment that alleges he ran an illegal gambling enterprise.

“I placed some bets with him, yes, myself and a group, yes,” Ross said in a phone interview.

“There was a group of us that were using the site,” he said. “I've never met him. It was set up for me and some buddies through another guy that I knew. … We didn't do very good. We weren't very good at what we were doing there. It wasn't just me. It was a group and I was kind of the guy that paid it.”

He said his group bet on college football games, NFL games and baseball games. He said the group “lost our butts.”

Ross said he has no ownership interest in the San Antonio Talons. The San Antonio Talons chief operating officer, Keith Recine, said Ross is still a minority owner.

The Oklahoman contacted Ross after the FBI reported in an 84-page court affidavit that Paul A. Ross wrote Mitchell a $12,080 check. An FBI agent said the check appears in Mitchell's records as a gambling payment.


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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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by Robby Trammell
Assistant Managing Editor
Robby Trammell is news director for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. During his 41-year career, he has received numerous reporting awards and civic honors. With The Oklahoman’s investigative team, he won a first-place spot news reporting award for...
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