published Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian sentenced in federal court

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    Mike Killian, former mayor of South Pittsburg, Tenn., makes his way into federal court today after being sentenced on a federal gambling charge that he pleaded guilty to. Investigators estimate he made more than $800,000 over 25 years while operating video poker, illegal sports betting and a lottery in the Marion County town.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian has been sentenced in federal court to six months in prison then one year of house arrest after pleading guilty to running an illegal gambling operation, which spanned 25 years and handled between $8 million and $12 million.

In January 2013, federal agents raided three Marion County businesses, one of which was run by Killian and seized 12 video poker machines. Court documents revealed that the former mayor began his gambling operation as early as 1988 and ran it until the raids.

During that time, federal prosecutors allege that Killian made more than $400,000 profit from video poker machines, illegal lotteries and sports betting. One month before the raids, Killian had started an offshore, online betting website to expand his operation, according to court documents.

Robert Cole was also charged in sports gambling portion of Killian's case. He is scheduled for sentencing today.

Killian served as mayor of South Pittsburg from 2005 to 2012. He is the brother of U.S. Attorney Bill Killian, who heads the office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, which includes Chattanooga and Knoxville.

The local U.S. Attorney's Office recused itself from the case and prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section handled the negotiations.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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