A Brief Look at Crime 03/28 – 04/03

Feds say Missouri drug suspect dropped millions at casino 

Federal prosecutors say a man at the center of a large-scale southwest Missouri drug operation put more than $10 million into slot machines at an Oklahoma casino. Patrick Brigaudin, 54, of Springfield, was arrested late last month along with three other men for conspiracy to distribute large amounts of drugs. According to court documents, agents found large quantities of methamphetamine heroin in his garage on Feb. 29. Court documents say investigators determined that Brigaudin was a “large-scale methamphetamine distributor” in southwest Missouri. He has access to “enormous sums of money” and recently had traveled outside the U.S., prosecutors said in the motion. Data provided by Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma, show Brigaudin put nearly $10.1 million into slot machines between January 2009 and April 2015 and withdrew just over $8.4 million from them, prosecutors said.

 One suspect dead, officer hurt in casino shooting 

Video released by the FBI of a fatal officer-involved shooting appears to show the officer pointing his gun at two men who were walking into the Route 66 Casino on the Pueblo of Laguna early Thursday. What happened next is unclear, because the video stops. But authorities say shots rang out, leaving one of the men dead and the officer wounded. The other man was on the run Thursday night, according to the FBI. Officer Peter Tanzilli, 37, who has been with the Pueblo of Laguna Police Department for five years and is an Air Force veteran, was taken to a hospital Thursday morning with at least one gunshot wound. “Officer Tanzilli is in stable condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital,” Laguna Public Safety Director Jesse Orozco said in a news release. Authorities haven’t said how many times Tanzilli was shot or where on his body the gunshot wounds were.

Former OK State Senator Embezzled Millions due to Addiction

Former Oklahoma State Senator and Tulsa Better Business Bureau CEO Rick Brinkley is going to prison for embezzling almost $2 million from the BBB. “If I get overwhelmed by the $2 million dollars, part of my brain will tell me, ‘Go out and win it. Go out and win it.’ I can’t focus on things that trigger me to get back to the casino. I can say, ‘I will do whatever I can. I will work as hard as I can. I will do whatever the government tells me to do,’ but I can’t be overwhelmed and let it push me back to where it got me today.” I asked him how he reassures people he won’t do it again when he gets out. “I can’t,” he said. “I’m an addict. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about it. I think about gambling every day. All I can do is do what I have to do to help myself stay clean and do it one day at a time.” He said in court that sometimes people don’t find their true purpose until they hit rock bottom, so I asked him what that is. “My new purpose is to take what I went through and make sure people understand that other people get what you’re going through. I always thought I was the only one,” Brinkley said. “My stuff is over other than serving my sentence and paying my restitution, now my job is making sure nobody else walks this road.”

Georgetown man sentenced for tax evasion 

A former insurance salesman was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for evading taxes in connection with the theft of more than $470,000 that he stole from three clients, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Paul Disidoro, 64, of Georgetown was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William G. Young to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution of $613,806. In December 2015, Disidoro pleaded guilty to attempting to evade taxes. For many years, Disidoro operated an insurance business in Massachusetts, and from 2007 through 2010 he also acted as a financial adviser for some clients, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. During that period, Disidoro stole more than $470,000 from three clients and used the money for his personal benefit, including online gambling, the statement said. He concealed the income from his tax preparer, and failed to report the embezzled funds on his federal income tax returns. In doing so, Disidoro evaded $144,000 in taxes, according to the statement.

7 arrested after 3 shot in Atlantic City casino hotel room

An ongoing investigation of a shooting in an Atlantic City casino hotel room that left three people wounded has led to the arrests of seven people and the recovery of four handguns. Police say as many as 20 people were partying in a room at Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino when shots rang out on March 24. Officers did not find any victims in the room, but soon learned two juvenile males arrived at a hospital with gunshot wounds. A third juvenile victim was later arrested on gun charges. Four of the suspects are juveniles between the ages of 15 and 17.

Madison County man gets 28 months in prison for playing robber in staged bank robbery

 According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, on December 13 of that year, Liebheit called police to report a bank robbery. He said a masked person forced him into the bank at gunpoint before the bank opened. He described the suspect’s vehicle as a tan station wagon or crossover vehicle. He said he was forced to give the person more than $280,000 from the vault. The story fell apart when Bethalto police spotted Liebheit’s own truck leaving the bank after the robbery. The two had used a BB gun to make the holdup look real, prosecutors said. Court documents say he had “issues with gambling and significant debts.”

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