Mix money, alcohol and gambling and it can be a recipe for crime. Pennsylvania casinos, just like casinos in every other state, have their fair share of it. In nearly all of the instances that involve theft on casino property, violence, leaving a child in a vehicle and cheating, the perpetrator lands on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s involuntary exclusion list.
“And eye-in-the-sky is watching us all,” said Sam “Ace” Rothstein in the movie, Casino.
Pennsylvania casinos, just like casinos in every other state, have security and cameras everywhere.
Pennsylvania involuntary Exclusion List
People who are being placed on the involuntary exclusion list by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board are given thirty days notice to respond if they wish to appear/speak at the hearing. If they are placed on the list it does not necessarily mean a lifetime ban. They can apply to be removed from the list in five years.
There are currently about 1110 people on the involuntary exclusion list in Pennsylvania. Their names, pictures and reasons for landing on the list are listed on the Pennsylvania gaming Control Board’s website. It’s the most of any state. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean a direct correlation of crooks to casinos. As of Oct. 2019 no one is banned from casinos in New York.
*The following is an ongoing but not complete list of some of the instances that caused people to be put on Pennsylvania’s involuntary exclusion list. It is updated each month after the PGCB meeting. Each monthly hearing where this list is sourced from can be viewed on the PGCB website and YouTube.*
2021 Pennsylvania Casino Crime Log
Urias Williams “impermissibly” removed a $100 wager from Blackjack table at Rivers Philadelphia after he lost. He placed the $100 chip into his sweatpants and was then apprehended by security. When he was at the security command center – unprompted – he emptied his pockets and took off his clothes. However, the $100 wager was not discovered. Williams was permanently evicted from Rivers Philadelphia and not criminally charged. Williams was placed on the involuntary exclusion list.
“He didn’t remove everything…that’s where we think the chip was. It wasn’t worth the $100 dollars,” said a rep.
Theophilus Berry allegedly left his eight-year-old daughter in his vehicle while he went into Rivers Casino Philadelphia and placed sports bets. He was confronted by a Rivers security and escorted back to his car. The child was left alone for 20 minutes. He was permanently evicted from Rivers and no charges were filed.
Mara Comfort attempted to enter Rivers Casino Pittsburgh but was denied entry because she was visibly intoxicated. She refused to leave and became verbally abusive. While trying to remove her from the property she spat on a casino employee and hit a Pennsylvania State Police person in the face. She was taken into custody and charged. She entered a negotiated guilty plea and is permanently banned from Rivers.
Kenneth Czarnecki was observed to be in possession of firearm ammunition while inside Live! Casino Pittsburgh. PSP discovered that in addition to ammo, he was in possession of a loaded firearm and multiple knives. He did not have a concealed carry permit and was criminally charged. He was permanently evicted.
Harry Stetson was involved in an illegal sports wagering operation in Allegheny and Westmoreland County. As a result, he was criminally charged by the Office of the Attorney General for his role in the operation. Stetson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, a first- degree misdemeanor, and one count of engaging in pool selling or bookmaking, also a first-degree misdemeanor.
Lorraine Carson hit five vehicles while trying to exit Hollywood casino. She left the scene and was stopped on I-81 and charged with DUI, hit-and-run and other traffic offenses. Carson was on the self-excluded list when she entered Hollywood Casino and had three beers over the course of six-and-a-half hours. According to prior reports she was driving on only three wheels when PSP stopped her.
Samy Hassan allegedly left his 11-year-old unattended in a vehicle he played at Wind Creek Bethlehem for two hours and six minutes. He was permanently evicted from Wind Creek and no charges were filed.
Joseph Matlock caused a disruption in the Mount Airy hotel lobby topped off by hime exposing himself. When he was taken into custody by PSP, he began to spit everywhere which caused him to be outfitted with a spit hood. He was charged with open lewdness and aggravated assault.
Travis Appleton physically assaulted a table games dealer at Parx Casino. When security attempted to restrain Appleton, he got out of the restraint and continued assaulting the dealer until others stepped in. He left Parx and returned to the parking lot ninety minutes later where he was arrested. He was charged with misdemeanor simple assault.
Dirrone Stansbury allegedly was verbally combative and made threatening statements to PSP and Rivers Philadelphia staff on the gaming floor. He brandished brass knuckles and after being arrested continued making violent threats, broke a computer in the PSP office, exposed himself and urinated in the office, as well.
Matthew Pietluck stole $3,000 in gaming cheques from a table game at Parx Casino while the dealer was engaged in her duties. Pietluck ran out of the casino before he could be apprehended. He was criminally charged with felony theft and felony receiving stolen property, which remain pending at this time.
Jameila Mack allegedly left her two children, ages 12 and 5, unattended in her vehicle for two hours while she gamed at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino. She was permanently evicted from Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Ashley Mejia, also known as Ashley Brosius, while employed as VIP coordinator at Mount Airy Casino Resort, engaged in a scheme to provide free play to another individual, which that individual was not entitled to receive. In exchange for this free play, Mejia received cash payments. She was charged by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. And in 2019, her guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering was accepted by the Federal District Court.
Shawn Henrich allegedly left his ten-year-old child in a vehicle in the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh parking garage for approximately 14 minutes while he gambled inside. He was taken into custody on unrelated charges at the time of the incident. Henrich was permanently evicted from Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.
Abdul Mubdi was at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh at a craps table when a table games dealer informed him that to remain on the casino floor, he had to wear his face mask correctly. Mubdi allegedly then cursed and spoke rudely to the dealer. When told such language would not be tolerated, he again swore at the dealer and threatened to overturn gaming tables. PSP arrived and escorted him to the on-site barracks where they learned that there was an active arrest warrant for him. Rivers issued a lifetime ban to Mubdi prior to his transportation to the Allegheny County Jail.
During the jail intake process, 14 baggies of cocaine and one baggie of marijuana were found on his person. PSP additionally charged him with possession with intent to deliver, two counts of possession of contraband, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving under the influence – or driving with a DUI suspended license. These charges are pending in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.
Frank Pasquino was involved in an illegal sports wagering operation in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. As a result, he was criminally charged by the Office of Attorney General for his role in the operation. Pasquino pled guilty to one count of set up of lottery or numbers game, a first degree misdemeanor.
Michael Harper allegedly left his two children, ages four and two. in a car at the Rivers Casino Philadelphia parking lot when he went into the casino to place a sports bet.The two children were unsupervised for approximately 30 minutes. Harper was not criminally charged but was permanently evicted from the property.
A group of individuals participated in a check-cashing scheme that affected numerous casinos on the East coast. Three of those casinos were in Pennsylvania and included Rivers Pittsburgh, Rivers Philadelphia, and Presque Isle Downs.
The suspects had obtained birth certificates and Social Security numbers of other individuals and used that information to obtain driver’s licenses, open checking accounts, and obtain players’ club cards in other individual’s names. They would then go to casinos and withdraw money through electronic cash services and close the associated checking accounts before the fraudulent activity was detected and the money could be recovered. The suspects successfully conspired to cash fraudulent checks at casinos along the East Coast from May of 2014 to February of 2017.
Mohammed Ahmed cheated by pinching his wager at least 31 times while playing Blackjack at Mount Airy Casino. He was permanently evicted from Mount Airy and criminally charged.
Hykeem Sessoms kidnapped an 84-year-old woman in the parking garage of Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino and forced her to leave the property so that he could rob her. Sessoms was charged with a number of felony offenses, including robbery and kidnapping, for his actions.
2020 Pennsylvania Casino Crime Log
Sabas Morales Guerrero allegedly left a nine-year-old child unattended at the market at the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino while he went to the casino floor and played a slot machine. The minor was unattended for approximately six minutes before security arrived. Five months later Guerrero allegedly left his child unattended in the bus lobby while he entered the casino floor Mount Airy Casino and proceeded to play slot machines. The minor was unattended for approximately nine minutes before security arrived in that incident. Guerrero was not criminally charged for his actions in either incident, however, he has been permanently evicted from both Wind Creek and Mount Airy.
Kenneth Wilson reached into a chip rack at Rivers Philadelphia and stole $220 in gaming chips. He returned to the casino and cashed in the chips, at which time he was apprehended by police. Wilson was permanently evicted from Rivers Philadelphia and criminally charged for his actions.
Christi Brockington allegedly left two children, ages eight and ten, unattended in her vehicle for one hour while she gambled inside Rivers Casino Philadelphia. Brockington was permanently evicted by Rivers Philadelphia.
Jackeline Brown stole a purse of another patron, attempted to steal the purse of a second patron and was in possession of stolen items and controlled dangerous substances, all of which occurred while she patronized Mount Airy Casino. Brown was criminally charged by the PSP and permanently evicted by Mount Airy.
Brian Guinn allegedly left a seven-year-old child unattended on a bench in the vestibule of Rivers Philadelphia while gambled. He also disrupted gaming operations at Rivers Philadelphia on multiple past occasions. He was previously permanently evicted by Rivers Philadelphia and has violated the eviction ban on multiple occasions.
Priscilla Morales allegedly left two children, ages four and five, unattended in her vehicle while she gambled inside Rivers Philadelphia for 12 minutes. She was permanently evicted by Rivers Philadelphia.
Alonzo Oliver-Tucker stole $14,000 in gaming chips from the Blackjack table float inside Rivers Philadelphia. Tucker was arrested and criminally charged by the PSP.
Amanda Roberts allegedly left a four-year-old child unattended in her vehicle for 29 minutes while she gambled inside Harrah’s Philadelphia. She was permanently evicted by Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Milady Borda left her three children, ages eight, three and one, in the parking lot of Wind Creek Bethlehem while she went inside the casino and gamed for over two hours. The temperature that day was an average of 79 degrees. Borda was charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children.
Abayomi Ademigoke committed a total of at least 70 thefts which totaled $1,510. The thefts were committed at four casinos in four states including PA. Ademigoke has been permanently evicted from licensed casinos and criminally charged by the PSP for his illegal conduct.
Bryce Flowers arrived in the parking garage of Rivers Pittsburgh driving a stolen vehicle. When confronted by Rivers Pittsburgh security and Pennsylvania State Police in the Rivers Pittsburgh parking garage, he attempted to hit PSP officers with the car while fleeing the garage. He was arrested and criminally charged.
Not on the PGCB docket this month, but a headline-making crime at a PA casino:
Zachery Ian Winters dropped a plastic bag containing 33 grams of methamphetamine, a phone and a digital scale on the casino floor of the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, PSP reported. According to Lehigh Valley Live, charges included possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Farid Brown reached into a chip rack at Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia and stole $6,000 worth of gaming chips, then successfully exited the casino. Later that same day, Davon McCallum attempted to cash in the stolen gaming chips at Harrah’s Philadelphia. As a result of their actions, both McCallum and Brown were criminally charged and both were permanently evicted.
Russell Giles sold Oxycodone on the casino floor at Parx. He was criminally charged by the PSP.
Robin Gruver allegedly left two children, ages 10 and 12, unattended in a vehicle in the Mohegan Sun parking lot for approximately one hour and 50 minutes while she engaged in gambled inside.
Christopher Merrick allegedly conspired with a Mohegan Sun Pocono employee to obtain Players’ Club Cards that were fraudulently registered to other individuals’ player accounts. Merrick then uploaded the free slot play onto the slot machines in order to convert the free slot play into cash.
Matthew Druker and Rebecca Druker allegedly left their one-year-old unattended in their vehicle for thirty minutes in the parking lot at Valley Forge Casino in March 2019. They were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and other charges. Matthew Druker was also charged with two counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered and three counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
Geraldine Pendleton allegedly left her two grandchildren, ages five and three, unattended in a hotel room while she gambled at Mohegan Sun Casino. The children were left unattended for approximately two hours.
Michelle Cedoz allegedly left her five-year-old nephew unattended in a vehicle in the parking lot of Presque Isle Downs and Casino for approximately 15 minutes while she entered the casino and gamed on the slot machines.
Manuela Zingarelli, an employee at Rivers Philadelphia (then Sugarhouse), allegedly stole a total of $700 from the cashier’s cage and $100 from customers.
Maurice Bean and Takemia Kelly allegedly left two children, a one-year-old and a three-year-old, alone in a vehicle in the parking lot of Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The pair were inside the casino for 13 minutes where they cashed in $33 of roulette chips.
Jamar Kinder left his two-year-old unattended in a vehicle in the Harrah’s Casino Parking lot for 13 minutes. He cashed out a bet slip at the sportsbook and ordered a drink at the bar. He was permanently evicted from Harrah’s and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct.
2019 Pennsylvania Casino Crime Log
Charles Thomas allegedly left his nine-year-old child unattended in his vehicle while he redeemed a Sportsbook ticket at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. The child was left unattended for approximately 17 minutes before being discovered by security. Thomas was permanently evicted from Rivers.
Ryan Reynolds (not the actor) assaulted a patron at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino when he punched a patron in the face, knocking him unconscious. As a result, the nightclub had to be evacuated and security resources diverted in order to render emergency medical assistance to the victim. Reynolds was criminally charged and ultimately pled guilty to simple assault and he was issued a one-year ban.
Justin Pendleton left his two children, ages five and three, unattended in a hotel room while he gamed at Mohegan Sun Casino. The children were left unattended for approximately two hours. Pendleton was criminally charged.
Andrew Mapp allegedly reached across the gaming table and was able to grab $6,000 worth of chips and run out of SugarHouse with those gaming chips.
Julie Renald entered a vehicle in the Rivers Casino parking garage, got a firearm and fired a shot toward the ceiling. When the gun was fired, there were patrons of the casino in the vicinity and the matter was reported by a patron to security. Renaldi was charged and pled guilty to disorderly conduct and an unlawful discharge of a firearm in relation to the incident
Natalia Vilnius and Sairhei Kazialefski allegedly attempted to enter Parx Casino with a ten-year-old child but were turned away by security. The two individuals and the child entered their vehicle and Vilnius and Kazialefski exited, leaving the child in the vehicle and returned to the casino, where they gamed at slot machines for approximately 21 minutes.
Frank Savage allegedly left his eight-year-old child unattended in the parking lot at SugarHouse Casino for approximately 24 minutes while he entered the casino and gambled. He was issued a permanent eviction by SugarHouse for his conduct.
Nicole Jones left her two children, ages five and three, unattended in a hotel room while she gamed at the Sands Casino. The children were left unattended for approximately 2 hours and 42 minutes before they were discovered wandering the hotel hallway. Jones was charged by Bethlehem Police.
Sean Owens allegedly left seven children, ages two years old through ten years old, unattended in his vehicle in the parking lot for approximately 15 minutes while he gambled inside SugarHouse Casino. He was formally evicted from SugarHouse Casino.
Lescarr Blizzard reached inside the main cage at Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia and took $60 from a tip jar. He then pulled a ski mask over his face and left the casino. He was later arrested by the PSP and criminally charged.
Nicole Inks left a ten-year-old alone in a vehicle at Rivers Casino Philadelphia for seven-and-a-half hours while she gambled. During that time she removed two gaming vouchers from slot machines which did not belong to her. She was banned for life from Rivers and charged by the PSP for endangering the welfare of a child.
Rose Melina allegedly left her 13-year-old grandson unattended in her vehicle while gambling at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino. Harrah’s Philadelphia permanently evicted Melina.
Canh Phung allegedly left two children, ages eight and one, unattended in his vehicle at the SugarHouse parking lot for approximately 30 minutes while he gambled inside.
Chew Siew was observed ingesting cocaine while on the gaming floor at Sands Casino. Siew was criminally charged and pled guilty to use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
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