15 people have been charged with a series of felonies, in connection with the attempted armed takeover of the Chukchansi Gold Casino on Oct 2014, and the Mexican city of Juarez is about to deal tables games in a casino for the very first time.
Amongst those charged was Tex McDonald, the man who claims to be the acting chair of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. McDonald is believed to be the man in charge of the group that stormed the casino, and took some members of a tribal faction hostage.
The leader of that tribal faction is Reggie Lewis, who also believes he is the acting chair of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, and they were running gaming operations in the casino before the attacks were made.
The casino was initially closed on 10 Oct 2014, in light of the attack, and U.S. District Judge, Lawrence J. O’ Neill, has made sure that it will remain that way until the two tribes stop going to war (it’s all very Frankie Goes to Hollywood I know).
Those charged alongside McDonald include tribal council member Vernon King, his tribal police chief, John Oliveria, David Lee Dixon; Timothy Tofaute; Shawn Fernandez; Tyrone Mark Twain Bishop; Benjamin James Rhodes; Jim Glasscock; Brian Lec Auchenbach; John David Cayanne; Ronald Jones; David Paul Anderson; and Miguel Ramos.
McDonald’s bail has been set at a million dollars, the other 13 have had their bail set at $800.000, and a 15th person, Eric Domingo Flores Suniga, has been charged with assault with a stun gun and needs to find bail of $25,000.
The charges range from kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a fireman, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault with a stun gun. McDonald has previous form thanks to convictions in 1992 & 1995 for assault with a deadly weapon, and making criminal threats.
McDonald’s group believes they had the authority to take control of the casino, and that no members of the other tribe were ‘in danger’ and that they ‘harmed no one.’
The case continues.
New Casino to Open in Juarez
If you had been invited to a casino in the Mexican city of Juarez, in the late nineties, you could have been forgiven for running a hundred miles in the opposite direction.
The city was a major drug thoroughfare, existing on the US-Mexican border, and over 10,000 people are estimated to be killed during the cartel controlled violence; including over a thousand unsolved murders of young women.
But with the death toll decreasing sharply since 2004, the city is trying to rebuild its reputation, and in a very brave move, its about to open the doors to its first ever casino that deals table games.
“The casino is just a short drive from the border. It will attract Texans and other tourists,” Casino Manager, Yajaira Yesenia Valtierra Casillas, told KHOU news.
The casino is called “Room 802”, after the street address where it’s located, and it is expected to open mid-November. It will be the first time a Mexican border city has offered table games of any description.
The owner of the casino, Raul Rodriguez, is the owner of several casino properties in Mexican border cities.