Court Roundup

Nevada: Arrest made in $1.5M Bellagio casino chip heist
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Police have arrested a 29-year-old Las Vegas man in a brazen armed robbery of $1.5 million in casino chips from the posh Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Anthony M. Carleo was being held Thursday at the Clark County jail pending a Friday court appearance on felony armed robbery and burglary charges.

Las Vegas police say Carleo was the motorcycle-helmeted robber who waved a gun, grabbed high-value casino chips and made off on a motorcycle before dawn Dec. 14. No shots were fired and no one was hurt. Police said then that they thought the same man robbed the Suncoast casino in northwest Las Vegas early Dec. 8.

But stealing $1.5 million in chips isn’t like stealing $1.5 million, experts and police pointed out at the time. Chips are unique to casino properties and are generally not interchangeable, although state regulations let casino companies redeem sister properties’ chips with some restrictions.

After the heist, Bellagio announced plans to discontinue the casino’s $25,000 chips in April, setting a deadline for the thief to try to use them. Police weren’t saying early Thursday whether the suspect tried to redeem the chips - which ranged from $100 to $25,000 - before he was arrested.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Carleo is the son of a Las Vegas Municipal Court judge.

Bellagio officials wouldn’t say whether MGM Resorts properties are among Las Vegas casinos that embed radio frequency devices inside the tokens.

Police say it took less than three minutes for the robber to pull off the heist.

The bandit entered a casino entrance from Flamingo Road, strode fewer than 500 feet to a craps table, brandished the handgun at the 10 to 12 patrons and three or four dealers with chips piled on the green felt, scooped up the loot and ran.

Casino security officers didn’t confront the robber, but a ceiling security video camera followed his path out the door. Morgan said a 911 call was placed to police while the man was still in the casino. He was gone by the time police arrived.

Alaska: Lawyer files suit against Boy Scouts
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A lawyer who won a $19 million jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America in Oregon has taken the case of a man who claims he was molested as a youth by a Boy Scout leader in Alaska, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The man read about the Oregon lawsuit and realized his case was similar, attorney Kelly Clark told the Anchorage Daily News.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Boy Scouts of America and others in Alaska Superior Court, the man, whose real name is not included in the legal filing, claims Dean Wendall You sexually abused him on two occasions around 1973, when the plaintiff was 10 or 11 years old.

You is not named as a defendant and could not be located for comment. He is listed on the Alaska Sex Offender Registry after being convicted in 1997 of attempted sexual abuse of a minor.

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement it is “saddened by any incident of abuse” and is continuing to improve youth-protection programs, including a prohibition of one-on-one contact between adults and scouts.

The Portland, Ore., case ended in April with the jury ordering the Boy Scouts of America to pay a sexual abuse victim $18.5 million. Clark argued the group knew it had a problem with sexual abusers but ignored the situation.

“The pattern that we saw in the Portland trial ... is the same pattern we saw here,” Clark told the newspaper. Both cases involve a leader who had lots of one-on-one time with a scout, working on projects, often in the scout leader’s home, he said.

The Alaska man has suffered long-term depression and has difficulty keeping up relationships — problems often associated with sexual abuse as a child, the lawsuit states.

Alabama: Court records: Man’s death was murder for hire
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Court documents indicate that authorities believe the killing of Ralph McNeill - also known as Skip “the Critter Man” - was a murder for hire.

But police are saying little about any possible motive for the killing.

Authorities say three suspects have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 18 slaying of McNeill, the longtime operator of an animal trapping business in Montgomery.

Court records state that the homicide was part of an agreement between the three suspects “to kill the victim for payment.”

The court records do not state who is accused of carrying out the actual killing or who is suspected of supplying the payment.

McNeill’s body was found near a burning trailer, and his truck had been set on fire. Court records say he had been shot and stabbed.

Pennsylvania: Police: Man robs bank a day after jail release
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Police say a western Pennsylvania man stole a Jeep and robbed a bank a day after a judge let him out of jail where he had been awaiting trial on charges of assaulting his girlfriend.

Upper Yoder police say 29-year-old Richard Brandon Johnson robbed the First Commonwealth Bank in Bens Creek shortly after it opened Wednesday. He was arrested two hours later and also charged with stealing the Jeep, in which police say they found clothes that Johnson wore during the robbery.

Johnson was sent to the Cambria County Prison because he was unable to post $500,000 bond after his arraignment Wednesday.

The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown reports that Johnson refused to answer questions from reporters but said “hi, Mom” as police led him to court.

New York: State’s attorney general sues online tobacco sites
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office is suing six website operators, accusing them of illegally selling cigarettes to state residents.

Schneiderman says the online sales represent hundreds of millions in lost sales tax revenues for the state. He also contends that online cigarette sales makes it easier for minors to buy cigarettes.

The attorney general says investigators in his office made numerous cigarette purchases, ordering off the websites in recent months.

State law requires anyone shipping cigarettes to be a licensed cigarette tax agent or wholesale dealer.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.