Surprising arrests made over Payson casino robbery


News flash – casinos have cameras.  The cameras aren’t just looking at patrons, either.  They also routinely pick up images of the facilities’ employees.  Unfortunately for two bungling bozos who worked at the Mazatzal Casino near Payson, AZ, this revelation comes a little too late.

Armando Ochoa, 32 and Ryan Pearson, 31, were employed by the casino when the concocted a "brilliant" plan to rob the casino.  On July 17, they entered the casino with "pistols and long guns," fired a number of shots and left with as much as $650,000, which they shoved into a duffle bag.  They must have thought that their masks would protect them from being identified, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Fortunately, no one was injured during the holdup.  Following the robbery, the FBI released video surveillance of the incident in an effort to have the public help identify the perpetrators, and it would appear that the footage helped. 

As part of their investigation, the FBI reviewed the security camera footage, which showed the dynamic duo exiting through a series of exits and rooms that are normally restricted.  Their ability to maneuver through the areas was a strong indication that they had intimate knowledge of the property’s layout, setting investigators on the trail of possible employee involvement. 

The FBI arrested both outlaws this past Monday.  They have admitted to the crime and are charged with robbery and "use of a weapon in a crime of violence."  They will appear before a federal judge before ultimately finding new living arrangements in federal prison.

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