Man accused in Bellagio casino robbery pleads not guilty

The man accused of robbing the Bellagio of $1.5 million in gambling chips pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

Anthony Michael Carleo, 29, faces three counts of armed robbery, including an enhancement for a victim being 60 years or older, and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and carrying a concealed weapon.

Carleo, with his arms shackled and wearing navy blue scrubs, waived his right to a speedy trial.

A trial date was set for Jan. 10 in front of District Judge Michelle Leavitt.

Carleo, the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad, is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $1 million bail, according to jail records.

During the arraignment, Leavitt addressed a potential conflict of interest in the case, disclosing that she has a sibling who works as a craps dealer at the Bellagio but who was not working the night of the robbery.

Leavitt also disclosed that she has a professional relationship with Assad .

Defense attorney Bill Terry said he had no objection about Leavitt presiding over the case. He declined comment later.

The Bellagio robbery made headlines worldwide.

At 3:50 a.m. Dec. 14, a man parked a late-model black motorcycle at the Bellagio’s north valet entrance.

Leaving the motorcycle running, he walked into the casino wearing a white, full-face motorcycle helmet and a leather jacket.

Walking past slot machines, the man stopped at the table games closest to the door. He pulled out a pistol and demanded money from the craps dealer, then ran out with an estimated $1.5 million in Bellagio chips in denominations from $100 to $25,000.

No one was hurt in the robbery, and no shots were fired, Las Vegas police said.

In and out of the casino in minutes, the robber was last seen riding the motorcycle west on Flamingo Road, police said.

Carleo was arrested Feb. 3 after, authorities alleged, selling some of the stolen $25,000 chips — known as "cranberries" because of their color — to undercover officers.

He was arrested at the Bellagio, where he was staying as a comped high roller who lost more than $100,000 gambling away what police say were stolen chips.

Authorities said a total of $1.2 million in chips and cash had been recovered or accounted for.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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