Jan 16 2013

Former South Pittsburg mayor’s store raided by FBI over suspected gambling machines

Mike Killian

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. – A South Pittsburg convenience and lottery store owned by the town’s former mayor was raided by the FBI on Tuesday after an anonymous tip was made that illegal gambling machines were in use at the location. That tip paid off and FBI agents spent several hours removing the gambling equipment over the course of the day, according to witnesses.

According to property records, former mayor James Michael “Mike” Killian who decided not to seek re-election in November 2012 owns the “Lotto Mart,” at 519 E. 12th Street in South Pittsburg. He had served as mayor since 2004.

Killian could not be reached for comment and the Lotto Mart’s manager declined to comment. Attempts to contact Killian at his other business were also unsuccessful.

His brother is Bill Killian, who has served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee since 2010. A message left at his office was not immediately returned either.

According to FBI spokesman Marshall Stone, the Lotto Mart was one of three local businesses that FBI raided on Tuesday. Other stores include the Little Store on Valley View Highway in Sequatchie and Richard City Market on 19th St., in Richard City.

Stone told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/10ew4lz) that agents were at the Lotto Mart for “probably a couple of hours,” but wouldn’t say what kind of evidence was seized or give any details about the investigation.

Eyewitnesses say agents loaded video machines into a yellow moving truck at the Lotto Mart and then removed them from the premises.

Stone said the agents were “following up on a criminal investigation going on for some time.” He said no arrests were made and no other details would be released “until court documents are unsealed later.”

He said he didn’t know when that would be, and the clerk for U.S. District Court in Chattanooga said no documents had been returned as of Wednesday afternoon.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press