Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 9:15 a.m.
Michael Quinn Belton, the man tackled by Bellagio employees after police allege he pulled a robbery at a blackjack table Saturday night, will have his preliminary hearing in early June in Las Vegas Justice Court.
Belton, 24, of Nuevo, Calif., one of three suspects in the robbery — the other two are still at large — made his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Sans the wig and sunglasses he reportedly was wearing when captured by Bellagio employees, Belton stood in a blue jail jumpsuit before Judge Deborah Lippis while she read the four felony charges filed against him.
Belton told the judge he had received a copy of and understood the criminal complaint, which charges him with two counts of robbery, one count of burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Belton told Lippis that he was unable to hire his own attorney. She appointed the public defender’s office to represent him.
Lippis set his preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. June 6. Belton is in the Clark County Detention Center on $60,000 bail.
Belton was one of two men who entered the Bellagio at 10:45 p.m. Saturday, went to a blackjack table, sprayed the dealer and patrons with pepper spray and grabbed $115,000 in casino chips, according to Metro Police.
Officers said Belton’s accomplice, described as a white or Hispanic man wearing a white shirt, used the pepper spray while Belton grabbed 23 of the $5,000 chips known as “flags” for their red, white and blue coloring.
A casino floor supervisor saw what was happening and started wrestling with the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Belton, who eventually surrendered when security guards arrived, police said. All of the chips were recovered, but the other man armed with the pepper spray got away, police said.
Belton allegedly confessed to Metro Police and told them that two other men were involved, saying he knew the man armed with pepper spray as “Carlos.” The third man, whom Belton claims recruited him to help, is named Carlos Rodriguez and was the mastermind behind the robbery, Belton told police.
Police said they checked out Belton’s story and found that a Carlos Rodriguez was a registered guest at Mandalay Bay but had never checked into his complimentary room.
Belton reportedly told police he participated in the heist after responding to a Craigslist ad about a job repossessing cars. He said he met Rodriguez and traveled with him to Las Vegas and that Rodriguez solicited his help in the robbery, police said.
Belton said Rodriguez told him he was a “high roller” gambler and would exchange the stolen chips for cash, then split the money, police said.
Belton reportedly told police he went along with the scheme because he had no job and his grandparents were ill.
Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue, 8 ½-acre lake, where fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet choreographed to music and lights.
Within Bellagio are award-winning dining experiences including two AAA Five Diamond restaurants, Julian Serrano's Picasso and Le Cirque from the renowned Maccioni family.
Bellagio is home to an impressive collection of luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Breguet, Prada, Fred Leighton, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Hermès and OMEGA.
A world-class art gallery, the exquisite Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the stunning “O” by Cirque du Soleil, a luxurious spa and salon, dynamic nightlife at The Bank, Hyde Bellagio and Lily Bar & Lounge and an elegant casino all add to the extraordinary Bellagio experience.