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Two Plead Not Guilty in Holdup of Las Vegas Casino

From Associated Press

Two men suspected in a series of daring casino heists pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from the June armed robbery of the Bellagio mega-resort.

Oscar Cisneros Sanchez and Jose Manuel Vigoa face trial Nov. 6 on 14 charges, including robbery, attempted murder and kidnapping.

Vigoa faces three additional charges for failing to stop for a police officer, child endangerment and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

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The men are accused of jumping over a counter into a cash “cage” at the Las Vegas Strip resort and taking about $160,000 in money and casino chips.

The robbers, filmed by security cameras, fired shots at guards as they fled.

Sanchez, 23, and Vigoa, 41, are being held without bail in Clark County jail. A third suspect remains at large.

Defense attorneys said they may need more time to prepare because about 50 witnesses may testify during the trial. About 20 witnesses testified at a preliminary hearing.

Authorities also have linked Sanchez and Vigoa to an armored truck robbery in Henderson in which two security guards were shot to death.

Prosecutors say they are letting Henderson police take their time investigating the March 3 incident so they can develop a strong case.

Deputy Clark County Dist. Atty. Frank Coumou said Monday that he is still waiting for the case to reach his office. Once that happens, he will either charge the pair and go through a preliminary hearing or send the case to a grand jury.

“A grand jury is faster,” he said.

DNA tests reportedly show that blood found in a getaway vehicle used in the Henderson shooting matches that of Sanchez, a Mexican native.

The pair also is suspected in armored truck robberies at the MGM Grand, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay and Desert Inn hotel-casinos.

Prosecutors said they need more evidence in the other holdups to press charges--but Coumou added, “It is a more than likely possibility that additional charges will be filed.”

Vigoa, a native of Cuba, is on probation for a 1991 conviction for cocaine trafficking and assaulting federal officers.


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