Schuette Charges Flat Rock Police Sergeant, City of Trenton Employee With Racketeering for Illegal Football Gambling Operation Ran With Taxpayer Resources

Contact: John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
Agency: Attorney General

January 11, 2012                                        

LANSING Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and FBI Special Agent in Charge Andy Arena today announced the Attorney General's Public Integrity Unit has charged a Flat Rock police sergeant and a City of Trenton Public Works employee for allegedly conducting an illegal gambling operation involving bets on professional and college football games conducted on city time with taxpayer resources.  The charges result from a joint investigation by the Attorney General, Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that began in February 2011 after a complaint was lodged with the FBI by the Flat Rock Police Department.

              "Public safety officials who break the law and use taxpayer resources to do it will be brought to justice," said Schuette.  "To restore public integrity and protect public safety, this kind of corruption must come to an end.  We will hold corrupt officials accountable, wherever they are found."

It is alleged that Flat Rock Police Sergeant Charles Sanders, Jr., 46, of Gibraltar, and City of Trenton Public Works employee Kevin Sargent, 35, of Grosse Ile, together ran an illegal sports betting operation during work hours with the use of taxpayer resources.  Sargent allegedly collected the bets on collegiate and professional football games by phone, while Sanders allegedly served as "the bank", collecting bets from and remitting winnings to participating gamblers, often while on duty as a police officer.  Sanders allegedly collected bets while on duty, at least once while sitting in his squad car.  It is also alleged that the two defendants discussed the details of the illegal betting operation (specific wagers, point spreads, and financial risk) via taxpayer-funded phones at the Flat Rock Police Department.

 

Sanders was arrested this morning and is expected to be arraigned this afternoon.  The following charges against him have been filed in 33rd District Court in Flat Rock:

  • One Count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine;

  • Two Counts of Misconduct in Office, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison; and

  • Fourteen Counts of Illegal Sports Betting, a misdemeanor offense.

  • Sargent was arrested this morning and is expected to be arraigned this afternoon.  The following charges against him have been filed in 33rd District Court in Flat Rock:

  • One Count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine; and

  • Fourteen Counts of Illegal Sports Betting, a misdemeanor offense.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

 

Kevin Sargent Charles Sanders 

 

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