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Man Arrested for Bellagio Armed Robbery | Crime

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Man Arrested for Bellagio Armed Robbery
Crime

LAS VEGAS-- Las Vegas police have arrested a man in connection with the December robbery of the Bellagio Casino. Police identified the suspect as 29-year-old Anthony Carleo, also known as Anthony Assad.

Carleo was arrested and charged with one count of robbery with use of a deadly weapon and burglary with use of a deadly weapon. A source says Carleo was caught after trying to sell several chips to undercover agents in the Bellagio poker room. 

Read the Arrest Report

The robbery happened on December 14, 2010 in the early morning hours. Police say the motorcycle riding robber targeted the craps tables and took approximately $1.5 million worth of casino chips.

Police say they have recovered $1.2 million in casino chips, but they have not found the suspect's motorcycle. Officers also dropped an initial charge of trafficking a controlled substance.

Ironically, Carleo was arrested at the Bellagio Casino Monday night, where he also had a room registered in his name.

According to the arrest report, Carleo sold several $25,000 stolen chips to undercover police officers at the Bellagio. The report says Carleo is a frequent poker player at the casino.

"I think he got a little bit too comfortable, actually a lot too comfortable for what he was doing," said Gaming Network CEO Jeff Voyles. "His interactions with the casino were very comfortable as far as playing poker, and he got to a point where he let his guard down. He was communicating with too many people."

Police first started on Carleo's trail after getting a call from a source inside the Bellagio. The source allegedly told detectives Carleo talked about robbing the casino and escaping on his motorcycle. During their investigation, officers learned that Carleo had lost about $105,000 at the Bellagio after the robbery.

Police say more sources started coming forward saying Carleo was trying to sell $25,000 chips for less than face value. Police set up a sting and purchased five chips from Carleo. He was later arrested.

"We want to send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can come to Las Vegas and commit a robbery with a weapon," said Metro Police Lt. Ray Steiber. "You will be caught, and this is evident of what we're talking about today."

"The casino can really evaluate this and go, 'What are some of the loopholes that he was able to circumvent?' Then, tighten those up as well," Voyles said.

At the time of the December robbery, police said this same suspect could be tied to a robbery at the Suncoast Casino poker room. However, officers gave no indication if they believe Carleo is responsible for that heist.

"The Suncoast is an open and ongoing investigation. I'm not at liberty to, nor do I want to, discuss what is taking place with the Suncoast. Obviously, when somebody is arrested we don't look at one specific crime we look at a number that they could have been involved in," said Lt. Steiber.

The suspect is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad and later legally changed his last name to Carleo.

In a statement, Judge Assad said, "I am devastated and heartbroken to see my son arrested under these circumstances, as is the rest of his family." The statement goes on to say, "As a prosecutor and a judge, I have always felt people who break the law need to be held accountable."

MGM Resorts also released a statement, saying "We were pleased to be able to assist and support Metro detectives in developing their case and ultimately apprehending a suspect.  We will continue to provide whatever support needed for a successful prosecution."

Carleo will be in court Monday for his initial appearance. Police say no one else has been arrested but the investigation continues.

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