Bellagio robbery suspect in court on Wednesday

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 25, 2011 Posted in World Poker News | No Comments »

Known as the “Bellagio Biker Bandit” Anthony Michael Carleo was in court this past Wednesday for a preliminary hearing in the case. A number of witnesses entered their testimony during the preliminary hearing, and according to Forbes Magazine, Carleo could face as much as 35 years in prison for the crime.

On the day of the robbery, Carleo entered the Bellagio casino wearing a motorcycle helmet and brandishing a handgun and made off with some $1.5 million in high denomination chips. A number of the chips Carleo stole were $25,000, Cranberry-colored, chips that are not commonly used in the casino and require ID to be turned in.

With no recourse to cash-in the chips, Carleo tried to sell the Cranberry chips to poker players through the online poker forum 2+2, where he signed up with the somewhat clever nickname “OceanSpray25”. The 29 year-old was turned in by forum users, and Las Vegas police arrested Carleo soon thereafter, finding some $900,000 worth of Bellagio chips in his apartment.

Over the course of the investigation police discovered Carleo had put one of the $25,000 chips in a Salvation Army collection around Christmas time, and had spent days living like a high-roller at the Bellagio itself.

Carleo appeared in front of Las Vegas Judge Ann Zimmerman, and ended with Zimmerman ordering Carleo to return to court at a later date where he will face the following charges: three counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of burglary and one of carrying a concealed weapon.

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