Two Billings men are facing charges after prosecutors say they teamed up to rob a West End casino late Monday night and were arrested an hour later at a different casino.
Christopher Alan Esrey, 30, faces a single count of robbery with a weapons enhancement, a felony. Antonio Francisco Gutierrez, 35, is charged with robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, both felonies.
Justice of the Peace Jeanne Walker set bond for Gutierrez at $20,000 on Wednesday. Esrey will make his initial appearance Thursday.
The pair robbed Dotty’s Casino at 4010 Montana Sapphire Drive, according to charges. Casino staff called police at 11:48 p.m. and the pair was discovered roughly an hour later at the Gold Dust Casino at 1310 15th St. W.
Billings police said in a press release issued Tuesday morning that one man had acted as the getaway driver, while the other went inside and robbed staff.
An employee at Dotty’s Casino said a man rang the doorbell to the casino to be let in but had a dark-colored hat and face covering on, which she motioned for him to remove before letting him in, charges state. After walking into the casino, the man then took a gun from his coat pocket, racked the slide and put it into the employee’s side, telling her to open the till and that she would not get hurt.
The man took $2,425 in cash, the casino employee said. The casino's video cameras captured the man inside and the car he got into in the parking lot.
Charges do not specify which man is alleged to have played which role in the holdup, but Esrey is identified as the owner of the car the men used and Gutierrez had a gun on him when arrested. The gun had been stolen, police found after running the serial number, and Gutierrez had no concealed carry permit.
Both men denied robbing the casino.