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Bellagio motorcycle bandit gets 3 to 11 years for heist of $1.5M in chips from Vegas casino
LAS VEGAS (AP) ' The son of a Las Vegas judge who wore a motorcycle helmet and brandished a gun as he carried out a Hollywood movie-style holdup of the posh Bellagio casino was sentenced Tuesday to at least 3 years in prison.
Anthony Michael Carleo apologized at his sentencing for "all the chaos I've caused."
"I know my actions were reckless," Carleo said. "... I'm extremely sorry for everything I've done. I owe my mother and father an apology. I'm sorry, your honor."
Carleo's spree was captured by security cameras, which showed him wearing a helmet and carrying a handgun as he dashed out of the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Carrying $1.5 million in chips, Carleo pointed his gun at a valet before jumping on a motorcycle and speeding away before dawn on Dec. 14. No shots were fired.
The eye-popping denominations of the of Bellagio chips ' ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each ' drew intense media interest and comparisons to Hollywood movies like "Ocean's Eleven."
"To him, it was just a big joke," said prosecutor Chris Owens, who argued for a stiffer sentence.
Judge Michelle Leavitt sentenced Carleo to at least 3 years in prison but no more than 11 years, unless he's paroled when he's first eligible in 2014. Leavitt also gave him credit for the nearly seven months he has served in jail.
The judge agreed to hold off deciding whether Carleo has to repay the chips, which have been largely recovered.
Carleo will be sentenced Thursday in a Dec. 9 robbery at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino in northwest Las Vegas.
Carleo is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad. Assad was ousted by voters this month from the bench seat he has held since 2002.
He hasn't commented about the case since issuing a public statement following Carleo's arrest Feb. 2 at the Bellagio. Police said Carleo was trying to sell several $25,000 chips to an undercover police officer.
Assad described himself and his family at the time as "devastated and heartbroken," and added that as a prosecutor and a judge, "I have always felt people who break the law need to be held accountable."