Vegas DA: Feds to prosecute Bellagio robbery case

(AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid, file)
(AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid, file)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Kansas felon arrested in the gunpoint robberies of a Las Vegas Strip casino cashier and a community bank branch will face federal charges that could get him up to 27 years in prison as a career offender, the district attorney in Las Vegas said.

Scott Alan Carmitchel, 34, could face more prison time if he’s convicted in federal court than in state court, so Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he would defer to federal prosecutors.

“We believe they can get the most bang for the buck, and therefore it would be in everybody’s best interest to let the U.S. attorney’s office prosecute the case,” Wolfson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A Wolfson aide and a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden confirmed Wednesday that Carmitchel will face trial in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. Wolfson said state charges would be dropped

Carmitchel’s federal public defender, Rachel Korenblat, didn’t immediately respond to messages.

Carmitchel was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on one charge of interference with commerce by robbery in a July 25 heist at the Bellagio resort, and one count of armed bank robbery in a July 22 hold-up at a City National Bank branch east of downtown. His arraignment is set for Aug. 14.

Wolfson said a conviction would make Carmitchel a career federal offender with two other felony convictions.

Carmitchel, formerly of Overland Park, Kansas, served prison time in Kansas for battery against a law officer and a 1998 robbery, and returned to prison a year ago for making a criminal threat.

No one was hurt in the Las Vegas robberies. Police say Carmitchel displayed what may have been a toy or replica handgun before making off with $43,500 in the Bellagio heist and $4,355 in the bank robbery.

Police say he spent some money on prostitutes and a shopping spree before he was arrested late July 26 in a hotel room at the Hard Rock hotel-casino.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen on Friday ordered a mental health evaluation for Carmitchel, who is in federal custody.

Carmitchel earlier in the week was uncooperative with Las Vegas police and Clark County jail guards, and appeared in restraints in local and federal courts with a spit mask around his face.

He was paroled in December. Kansas Department of Corrections records said he disappeared in May 29.

 

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