A Brief Look at Crime 08/12 – 08/18

2nd-degree murder conviction in Tahoe casino killing

A Douglas County jury has convicted a 45-year-old man of second-degree murder in the killing of another man at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino that he claimed was self-defense. The Record-Courier reports the jury deliberated for six hours before returning the guilty verdict for Jose Rodriguez-Quezada at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. The jury determined he did not act with premeditation, which is required for first-degree murder. It found him guilty instead of second-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon in the October 2017 stabbing of Kevin Edwards at the Hard Rock Hotel in Stateline. Prosecutors said Edwards had been stabbed or slashed 30 times. They said Rodriguez-Quezada is in the country illegally and faces deportation once he completes a prison sentence that could range from 25 years to life in prison.

Woman’s Body Found Inside Car In Horseshoe Casino Parking Garage 

The Baltimore Police Department is investigating a “suspicious death” after a woman’s body was found in a parking garage of the Horseshoe Casino, police confirm with WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5. Around 6 p.m. on Sunday, police received reports of a suspicious death. Once on the scene, police found an adult woman dead inside a car in a parking garage of the casino. Police say the cause of death will be determined after an autopsy is performed. At this time, there are no further details.

Feds: Texas family ran $33M illegal sports gambling outfit 

Members of a southeast Texas family acknowledged in federal court Tuesday that they ran illegal bookmaking from the father’s used car dealership for more than three decades, an enterprise federal authorities described as one of the nation’s biggest illegal sports gambling and money laundering operations. Larry Earnest Tillery, his wife Judy Kay Tillery and their son Brian Tillery pleaded guilty in federal court in Beaumont, Texas, to charges arising from their illicit sports betting operation. Larry Tillery, 69, and Brian Tilery, 46, pleaded guilty to making monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity and tax evasion. Judy Tillery, 62, pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions to evade tax reporting requirements Federal prosecutors say the Beaumont family’s operation handled almost $33 million from 2010 through 2016, with Judy Tillery helping her husband launder the cash proceeds of the activity and Brian Tillery helping to collect from and pay the bettors. “For more than 30 years, this family operated one of the largest illegal sports gambling and money laundering operations in the U.S.” said Mary Magness, assistant special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations Houston office in a statement.

Mom leaves child at McDonald’s to go to the casino 

A woman was arrested late Wednesday night after Peoria police discovered she left her 9-year-old child unsupervised at a McDonald’s to go gamble at the Desert Diamond Casino, according to court documents. According to Peoria police, they received a call from an employee at a McDonald’s near 91st and Olive avenues regarding a welfare check for a child who had been left unsupervised for more than an hour at the fast food chain. The employee allegedly told police the child looked “dirty and was disheveled.” The 9-year-old told police that his mother, identified in court documents as Stacy Rupp, 34, was “going to the casino and to a friend’s house.” Rupp returned to the McDonald’s around the same time police arrived and told officers she had been shopping at a Fry’s Marketplace located in the same shopping complex. Rupp initially denied going to the casino when questioned by police, but later admitted she did go to the Desert Diamond Casino. Surveillance footage from the casino allegedly showed Rupp walking into the facility around 8:30 p.m. and leaving around 10:30 p.m. Rupp is being charged with one count of child abuse and one count of endangering the life/health of a minor.

Sparks fly as Houston officers find stacks of cash in raid of illegal gambling room

Luck ran out for an illegal gambling room in South Houston on Tuesday. The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office in Texas raided an illegal gambling room that they say brings in $60,000 to $100,000 a day, KTRK reported. Officials say stacks of cash were seized along with more than 200 gaming machines, the Houston Chronicle reported. A video posted to Constable Alan Rosen’s Twitter page shows sparks flying as officers saw locks from a long row of gambling machines. Photos posted to the account show cash strapped with rubber bands stacked in what appears to be a safe. “This is a game room that steals from people on fixed incomes. There’s crime that happens in and around these places,” Rosen said, according to KTRK. “We’ve had people use Lone Star cards that they’ve traded off to gamble.”

Pa. accountant charged with stealing nearly $1.4 million from nonprofit organization, using it to gamble 

An accountant, who scammed his client out of $1.4 million and used it to gamble at Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and three years of supervised release, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Adam Kamor, 44, was accused of shifting a nonprofit’s money through a series of accounts between October 2014 to January 2018, which were under his control, embezzling over a million dollars he personally benefited from, the Middle District reported. He also failed to report three years of income totaling $804,365.73, officials said. “Not only did this defendant willfully fail in his duty as a citizen to pay his fair share, he further enriched himself by stealing from an organization that existed for the benefit of others,” U.S. Attorney David Freed said in a statement. United States District Court Judge James Munley ordered Kamor to pay $1.35 million in restitution to his victim, and $241,623 to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Middle District.

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