Daily Archives: November 22, 2021

A Brief Look at Crime 11/15 – 11/21

UPDATE: Man who shot his ex outside of Toppenish casino fatally shot by police 

A 41-year-old man accused of recently shooting his ex-girlfriend at Legends Casino in Toppenish was fatally shot by Idaho sheriff’s deputies after he fired his gun at them, led them on a high-speed chase across counties and pulled a gun on them a second time. Buddy McKenzie, 41, was previously charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and illegally possessing a firearm after police said he shot a 37-year-old woman in the stomach and head on Oct. 4 in the Legends Casino parking lot.

Deputies confirmed that McKenzie was the shooter by looking through the casino’s security footage. A nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest with a reward of $750,000, but deputies were unable to locate him until they got a call that McKenzie had been found more than 600 miles away in southern Idaho. Schilperoort said on Wednesday afternoon, McKenzie fired several gunshots at law enforcement officers in Caribou County, Idaho and fled in a small, white pickup truck. The high-speed chase continued for about 20 minutes and through into nearby Bannock County. Law enforcement officers were able to use spikes to deflate the truck’s tires and the vehicle eventually came to a stop on Highway 30 near the exit to McCammon. Schilperoort said McKenzie got out of the truck, pulled out a pistol and pointed it at deputies.

Shots Fired In Parking Lot Of Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

Friday morning just after 3 a.m Reno Police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Police arrived on scene to find shell casings in the parking area on the west side of the building. No one was injured though multiple unoccupied vehicles were hit. Police say they’ve identified a possible vehicle and suspect but have made no arrests yet or determined the cause.

Northeastern Minnesota casino employee sentenced for theft of more than $300K

An Orr woman will serve eight months in federal prison for embezzling more than $300,000 from Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower. Boutto, a former front desk supervisor at the casino, pleaded guilty in March to a felony count of embezzlement and theft of tribal funds. Authorities said she managed to steal $315,739.87 by processing nearly 3,000 false cash refunds between January 2013 and October 2019. According to court documents, Boutto began working as a reservationist in 2008 and was promoted over the years — eventually gaining the ability to issue cash refunds without direct oversight. “Boutto’s scheme to defraud was premised on this access,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Sing wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Boutto identified customers who spent significant money at Fortune Bay and, after the customers checked out, issued a false cash refund against the invoice. Boutto concocted various reasons for the refunds and then retrieved the cash for herself from Fortune Bay’s vault. The scheme worked, and Boutto’s confidence in it grew over time.”

Spanish Woman Faked Own Kidnapping, Used Husband’s Ransom to Play Bingo 

Spanish police have arrested a woman they accuse of faking her own kidnapping and using the ransom for bingo buy-ins. According to Mossos d’Esquadra, the police force serving Spain’s semi-autonomous Catalonia region, the unnamed 47-year-old woman concocted the plan while her husband was being treated in a local hospital. The unfortunate man called police in a panic on October 6 after he received messages on his mobile phone, purportedly from his wife’s abductors. He was told he would have to pay a €6,000 ($7,000) ransom to secure the woman’s freedom. The case was assigned to Mossos d’Esquadra’s elite kidnap and extortion unit. Fearing his wife was in mortal danger, the man was advised to pay a portion of the ransom, in line with instructions in the messages.

When some of the ransom was later withdrawn from a bank in Badalona, near Barcelona, agents sprang into action, obtaining footage from the security camera. The video showed the purported abductee, apparently safe and well, thumbing the cash. The unit then traced her to a nearby casino. In security video from the venue released this week by Mossos d’Esquadra, she is seen washing her hands with sanitizer at the entrance, before marching past the slot machines to the bingo hall. She was arrested that evening, mid-bingo game, and charged with extortion and suspicion of reporting a fake crime.

Ex-State Fair Finance Head Gets Jail, Probation for Theft 

The former finance director of the Nebraska State Fair was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail and 15 years’ probation for stealing more than $150,000 from the fair. Patrick Kopke, 30, received the sentence Friday and was ordered to pay restitution of more than $158,000 to the State Fair, television station KSNB reported. He was also ordered to undergo counseling for a gambling addiction. In August, Kopke pleaded no contest to three counts of felony theft. He had faced up to 20 years in prison on each charge. A state audit found that a company Kopke created was paid nearly $150,000 in state funds but there was no proof the company had done any work for the fair.

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