Ex-con arrested after using blackface to rob casino, officials say


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who previously served prison time for bank robbery has been accused of covering his face with black makeup during a $23,000 armed robbery of a Las Vegas Strip casino cashier earlier this year.

The cashier at the New York-New York resort, who wasn’t hurt in the January holdup, initially described the man as black but later said his skin tone was irregular and “blotchy,” according to a criminal complaint.

Cameron James Kennedy, 26, of Las Vegas, has been charged with robbery and could face 20 years in prison.

Kennedy was identified by his distinctive gold teeth, a tip from an anonymous person and accounts from an unidentified witness who told the FBI that Kennedy bought him a $1,000 prepaid debit card several weeks after the casino heist.

That man said Kennedy appeared to have wiped a dark substance from his face before he came to the man’s apartment a couple of hours after the early Jan. 10 casino robbery, according to court documents.

Kennedy appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, where a judge ordered him held in federal custody until a March 26 court hearing.

A deputy federal public defender appointed to Kennedy’s case, Tiffany Nocon, did not immediately respond Tuesday to a telephone message seeking comment.

Kennedy was freed from prison last July after serving more than five years for two bank robberies in 2012, according to the criminal complaint.

He was on house arrest pending a hearing on an accusation that he forged a check in December in violation of supervised release. He is accused of cutting off a GPS monitor late Jan. 9, just before the heist.

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