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Suspect arrested in treasure dig on Binion property in Pahrump — VIDEO

A 56-year-old man suspected of trying to dig up “precious metals” on Ted Binion’s former property in Pahrump has been arrested, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said.

The manager of the property once owned by the late gambling executive had identified Richard Cleaves to detectives on April 2 as one of three men who trespassed on the land with shovels on March 30. Images of the men were captured by surveillance cameras, according to a Sheriff’s Office video posted on social media Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office said it arrested Cleaves, who formerly worked on the property, on Friday on charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit grand larceny and destruction of property.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the other two men had been identified.

“While investigating the crime scene, deputies and detectives located several holes dug in the main structure on the property,” Deputy Ann Horak said in a video news release this month, adding that a hole was also found near a demolished brick barbecue smoker outside of the main structure.

“There is a longstanding rumor within Nye County that Binion had buried a large amount of precious metals, including silver bars, on this property and others that he owned,” she said.

In 1998, Nye County found $5 million worth of silver in Pahrump owned by Binion, the manager of Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas, whose death dominated headlines two decades ago, leading to a high-profile murder trial.

Binion was 55 when his body was found face up on the floor of his 6,700-square-foot home on Palomino Lane on Sept. 17, 1998. His death was initially ruled a heroin and Xanax overdose.

Binion’s girlfriend, Sandy Murphy, whom he’d met when she was a dancer at Cheetah’s, and her lover, Rick Tabish, were convicted, then acquitted, of his murder. In the days after Binion’s death, Tabish tried to take $6 million in silver from a buried vault in Pahrump.

It’s unclear if Cleaves and the other two men found anything on Binion’s former property.

Cleaves was previously arrested Jan. 27, 2017, after he was found digging holes on the property.

“He told deputies that he’d read online that there was millions of dollars’ worth of gold buried on the property, and he wanted to find it,” Horak said.

Anyone with information about the burglary can contact the Sheriff’s Office at 775-751-7000.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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