published Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Former South Pittsburg mayor’s store is site of suspected gambling machines seizure

Mike Killian
Mike Killian
Photo by Ben Benton.

FBI raiders seized suspected gambling machines Tuesday from a South Pittsburg store owned by the town’s former mayor, who also is the brother of East Tennessee’s U.S. attorney.

James Michael “Mike” Killian is listed in property records as owner of the Lotto Mart at 519 E. 12th St. where FBI agents spent hours Tuesday and left with a truck loaded with equipment, witnesses said.

Killian could not be reached for comment. A manager at Lotto Mart declined to comment and messages left at his other business, Killian’s Fireworks, were not immediately returned.

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 today was not immediately returned.

The Lotto Mart was one of three businesses that FBI raiders hit Tuesday. The others were the Little Store, 3644 Valley View Highway in Sequatchie, Tenn., and Richard City Market, 308 19th St., in Richard City, Tenn., according to FBI spokesman Marshall Stone said today.

He said 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.

South Pittsburg residents, though, described agents loading video machines into a yellow Penske truck at the Lotto Mart.

Stone said the raiders 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.

Killian was mayor of South Pittsburg from 2004 until he decided not to seek re-election in November 2012.

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