US Gambling Crime Roundup: ‘Susie Q’ Update, Life for Reno Killer, Casino Meth Dealer Charged

Susie Zhao’s killer gets new charge

The February US gambling crime roundup starts in the Great Lakes Region where a Michigan judge slapped Jeffery Morris, 60, with an additional felony charge ahead Morris’s trial for the July 2020 murder of poker player Susie “Susie Q” Zhao.

David Williams, chief assistant prosecuting attorney, told The Oakland Press that Judge Martha Anderson of the Oakland County Circuit Court sent the case back to the district court on February 10 with a fresh charge of felony murder.

In August 2020 an Oakland County judge charged Morris, a convicted sex offender, for the brutal, first-degree, premeditated murder of poker professional Susie Zhao. Zhao was first sexually assaulted and then burned alive, an autopsy revealed.

Morris is currently being held without bail, his next court date still unknown.

Life without parole for Reno murderer

The February crime trail heads west to Nevada, where a North Dakota man received a sentence of life without parole for the vicious murder of a woman at Circus Circus Hotel Casino Reno.

resulting in brute force trauma to the brain

News 4 and FOX 11 Digital reported on Wednesday that Tevin Raeshaun Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty to the murder of Amber Morris, 37, of Ohio. Johnson killed Morris on July 29, 2019 in her Circus Circus hotel room, strangling her and stomping on her head, resulting in brute force trauma to the brain.

Morris, a mother to four, met Johnson for the first time only two hours before her death, court documents stated.

Meth at Encore Boston Harbor

At a casino on the opposite side of the US in New England, the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit arrested a New Hampshire man for attempting to sell gamblers methamphetamine.

According to a report in Patch on February 10, Matthew Gorman, 32, was in possession of methamphetamine and two semi-automatic pistols when stopped in a vehicle on Encore Boston Harbor Casino property. A Middlesex County Grand Jury has indicted Norman on five counts, which include one count of possession with intent to distribute a Class B substance.

Gorman was attempting to sell meth on the casino floor of Encore Boston Harbor, law enforcement said.

Caught red-handed in Orange County

Next stop on the early February crime bus is Orange County in Southern California, where Anaheim police raided an illegal gambling den operating out of a furniture store on February 10, detaining around 70 people.

Officers also found gaming machines and guns at the site. According to Los Angeles TV news site KTLA, Sergeant Jacob Gallacher of the Anaheim Police Department said officers had been watching the location for around two months after receiving regular reports of suspicious activity.

24 hours a day, seven days a week”

“This type of thing is going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Sgt. Gallacher said.

Mobster fesses up in Philly

Last stop on this Friday crime roundup is in Pennsylvania, where South Philly Mob associate Anthony “Tony Meatballs” Gifoli, 73, agreed to plead guilty to conducting an illegal gambling operation.

According to Philadelphia crime reporter Dave Schratwieser on the website Mob Talk Sitdown, Gifoli is the first of 15 defendants to plead guilty following a November racketeering investigation by the FBI into illegal sports betting, extortion, and narcotics distribution.

Other mobsters in the November federal corral included underboss Steven “Stevie’’ Mazzone, Domenic “Mr. Hopkins’’ Grande, Louis “Louie Sheep’’ Barretta, and Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio.

Following Gifoli’s guilty plea on February 5 and the recent death of Kenneth Arabia, 13 defendants remain.

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