Jubreal Chahine, one of Nevada’s seven-most-wanted cheats, was recently taken into custody at the Sands Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. Chahine, 40, held 21 felony charges and seven warrants when casino employees spotted him on July 19 and called police.
Bright red letters spelling “CAPTURED” now cross out Chahine’s mug shot on the most-wanted list of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which alerted other states about Chahine’s past.
Now six photos remain — criminals still at-large and responsible for thousands in casino theft.
There’s Rogel Canlas, who allegedly turned thousands of downloaded player’s points into $19,000 cash.
And Patrick Curtin, a casino employee who Control Board enforcement chief Karl Bennison said walked away with $57,000 from a sports book.
Then there’s Francisco Garcia, who tried to hide more than $13,000 in a company trash can, according to a casino co-worker.
The list goes on.
So how does the board determine which criminals make the cut? Bennison said it’s a matter of extradition. The agency pores over lists of warrants, identifying criminal candidates for the district attorney’s approval.
“Usually, the extradition boundaries correspond to the crime,” Bennison said. “For someone to even be considered for the list, the DA’s office is making that determination. We simply do not want to put someone on that list that the DA would not extradite.”
Here’s a look at the remaining six:
▶ Rogel Canlas
While working as a slot technician at a Wynn Las Vegas, Canlas, 32, allegedly compromised multiple casino player accounts, changing the personal identification number for each player’s card so he could access the points later.
With the help of his brothers, Canlas was able to download the players’ points to a slot machine — a total equal to about $10,000 in play. Canlas then used the downloaded points to gamble, winning about $19,000.
He was arrested at the Control Board’s office on Aug. 6, 2009, and a judge issued a bench warrant on Sept. 27, 2010. Bennison said Canlas had no prior convictions with the Control Board.
▶ Patrick Curtin
Regularly working alone to close the night shift at a Reno sports book, Curtin, 48, was responsible for counting the bank and returning it to the cashier at the end of each day.
One night, Curtin told the cashier he would be back in a few minutes with the bank as usual. But when he returned to the book, he grabbed his backpack and left the casino. Surveillance cameras later showed Curtin had placed the contents of the bank — more than $57,000 — into his backpack before speaking with the cashier.
Curtin then “disappeared,” Bennison said.
Curtin’s roommate said he returned from work that night and packed a bag. He later went on the Internet for a few minutes before leaving without paying his portion of the rent. His browser history showed a final search for Amtrak and Greyhound bus schedules.
Curtin had no prior arrests with the Control Board, Bennison said. He holds an active arrest warrant for felony theft.
▶ Francisco Garcia
Garcia worked the slot floor at Jerry’s Nugget. One day, a co-worker caught him placing $13,340 cash in a trash can and covering the money with paper.
The casino launched an investigation and soon learned Garcia, 52, had falsified 15 jackpot tickets during his shift that day for a total of $13,370. He said he then tried hiding and pocketing the money. Garcia also admitted to taking an additional $25,000 during another incident.
Bennison said Garcia has no prior arrests with the Control Board and faces 11 counts of felony theft.
▶ Luis Daniel Frias
In February 2011, Frias, 34, involved himself in a roulette chip conversion cheat at The Venetian. Bennison said he worked with two other suspects.
The first suspect used $140 to buy into a roulette game, receiving 140 brown chips valued at $1 each. He then played several chips while pocketing 40. After playing for some time, he left the table and met up with the second suspect, passing him a portion of the brown chips he had pocketed.
The first suspect then returned to the same table to play his remaining chips. As the first suspect played, Frias approached the table and began playing, as well. Upon Frias’ arrival, the first suspect then colored up his remaining chips and left the table — just as the second suspect arrived at the table and began playing.
Frias’ role in the conspiracy was to ensure that all the colored playing chips were in use so that when the second suspect entered the table, he would have no option but to receive brown chips.
The second suspect bought into the game at $300 at a $25 denomination and began reintroducing the brown chips from the first suspect to the table. By reintroducing the original brown chips at a value of $25, the group netted $24 with each chip.
Frias faces charges, including conspiracy to violate gaming laws. He has two prior Control Board arrests with the same suspects, although they were negotiated with plea agreements.
▶ Larry Dean Roush
Reno knows Roush well. Bennison said Roush, 54, is the subject of 10 Control Board cases up north, most notably at Diamond’s Casino. In each of the cases, Roush approached a casino cage and asked to exchange his smaller bills for a single $100 bill.
After counting Roush’s bills, the cashier handed him the $100 bill he asked for, which he quickly switched with a $10 or $20 bill at the counter. Immediately, Roush would flash the cashier a $10 or $20 bill and say, “Hundred.”
Roush persuaded cashiers they had given him the wrong bill multiple times, Bennison said. He faces six counts of felony burglary, although his extradition is limited to the West.
▶ Jhon Manuel Soriano-Alequin
In November 2010, Soriano-Alequin conducted a chip conversion cheat at the Mirage similar to that of Frias’. In this conspiracy, Soriano-Alequin, 30, bought in at a roulette table for $10, receiving white chips valued at $1 each.
As he played a few hands, Soriano-Alequin removed an unknown number of white chips from the table. He then left the table only to return a short time later. After some time, Soriano-Alequin again left the table, cashing out his remaining white chips.
A co-conspirator then arrived at the same table, buying in at $400 at a $25 denomination. As he played, he reintroduced a number of Soriano-Alequin’s white chips, which he had pocketed during his first game. Similar to Frias’ group, Soriano-Alequin and his co-conspirator netted $24 for each chip. The co-conspirator later cashed out for $2,200.
Soriano-Alequin is wanted for two counts of cheating at gambling and one count of burglary. Bennison said Soriano-Alequin is the subject of two additional Control Board investigations and was arrested by the Control Board in 2008.