Payson Casino Employees Arrested Following Armed Robbery
Two casino employees were arrested on Monday (August 6) in connection to an armed robbery last month at the Mazatzal Casino in Payson, Arizona.
According to ABC15, Ryan Pearson, 31, and Armando Ochoa, 32, were arrested over the incident despite both being employed by the casino, located on the Tonto Apache Indian Reservation.
The robbery took place at the casino on July 17 at around 12:25 am. The two men reportedly entered the casino in all black clothing armed with a long gun and several pistols.
Pearson and Ochoa then fired several rounds, threatened employees and demanded money before escaping with $650,000. According to the FBI, Pearson and Ochoa crossed State Route ‘87 and got into a waiting vehicle.
No injuries were reported at the time of the incident.
After the robbery, FBI officials released security footage, seeking help from the public to identify the suspects and offering up to $5,000 as a reward for information.
Following their arrest in Payson, FBI agents revealed that Pearson had confessed to robbing the casino with Ochoa. The pair now face charges of robbery and the use of a weapon in a crime of violence.
Meanwhile, investigators have since recovered around $480,000 of the stolen money, though it’s unknown what happened to the rest.