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December 4, 2013

Oklahoma City man gets prison time for illegal gambling

OKLAHOMA CITY — A former bookie was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison after pleading guilty to two felony counts.

Dryden R. Mitchell, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty in July to two felonies stemming from an illegal online sports wagering business and for money laundering. Mitchell, 33, had asked for probation, but the judge sentenced him to six months, saying he had flagrantly broke the law for years.

“Society’s got to see that there is a price to pay for that,” U.S. District Judge David Russell said at the sentencing in Oklahoma City federal court.

Mitchell must also complete two years of supervised release.

Mitchell’s attorney, Billy Bock, said prosecutors dropped other felony counts as part of a deal. Mitchell also forfeited to the federal government assets worth as much as $250,000.

Mitchell’s father, Teddy Mitchell, will be sentenced in January for involvement in the same illegal business and a money-laundering conspiracy.

In an unrelated case, Teddy Mitchell’s wife was found beaten to death on Nov. 2, 2010, in the closet of the master bedroom of their Oklahoma City home. Police have made no arrests.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Altshuler told the judge Monday that instead of grieving after his stepmother’s death, Dryden Mitchell worried what effect it would have on his bookmaking business. The prosecutor said Mitchell told a relative he bet only about seven clients of the 70 he had amassed would continue to bet with him.

Mitchell said he rationalized bending the laws because he wasn’t hurting anyone. But he said the case has changed him for the better: He has given up using drugs and works as a landman.

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