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Bellagio bandit gets at least 3 years for heist

This police booking photo provided on Thursday Feb. 3, 2011 by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Anthony M. Carleo, 29, from Las Vegas who was being held on felony armed robbery and burglary charges. Police say the Las Vegas man is suspected of the brazen armed robbery of $1.5 million in casino chips from the posh Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 14. (Las Vegas Police Department)

August 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The son of a Las Vegas judge was sentenced to at least three years in prison for robbing the Bellagio casino in December.

The robbery was caught on tape, showing Anthony Carleo wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a gun as he ran out of the casino.

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."

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 didn't make a decision on whether Carleo will have to repay $1.5 million in chips that were stolen, but most have been recovered.

Prosecutor Chris Owens, who argued for a stiffer sentence, said that when Carleo was arrested, authorities discovered written plans by him to rob Caesars Palace, the iconic Sin City casino that sits just north of the Bellagio.

Carleo is expected to be sentenced Thursday for another robbery at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino in northwest Las Vegas just days before the Bellagio heist. Authorities have said it played out like a dress rehearsal for the Bellagio theft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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