Jory Dumas sentenced in Montgomery Wind Creek Casino theft
Thursday 27th February 2020
The front doors on opening day of the Wind Creek Montgomery Hotel at Wind Creek Montgomery in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015.
The judge had a question for the defendant in his federal courtroom Thursday morning: "Where's the $200,000?"
Jory Dumas sat before Judge Andrew Brasher for sentencing for his role in an August 2018 casino heist, where Dumas and three others stole $192,800 from Wind Creek Casino in Montgomery.
Though Dumas apologized Thursday for his role in the crime, Brasher said he believes Dumas was a major organizer of the theft in which no money has been recovered.
"He organized it in such a way he would never be on video with money or the keys," Brasher said. "... I think he's greedy and arrogant."
Brasher sentenced Dumas to 37 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Dumas, along with the other defendants in the case, has also been ordered to pay restitution to the casino.
Dumas was convicted on one count of conspiracy and one count of employee theft from an Indian gaming establishment.
Prior to his sentencing, Dumas said in court that he gave a little less than half of his portion of the money to a co-defendant, Courtney Staton, and kept $50,000 for himself, which he said he no longer has.
"I'm not a bad person, I just made a terrible decision. I put my family in this situation," Dumas said, following character statements made by his wife and mother. "I apologize for my actions. ... I wish I had something to bargain with, but I don't."
Prosecutors Thursday argued Dumas was the "ringleader" in the theft, in which Staton, Timothy Pettiway and Tomika Thomas were also charged.
Staton and Thomas both cooperated with investigators and received probation after pleading guilty. Pettiway eventually pleaded guilty as well, receiving a 33-month sentence.
Brasher said Thursday that Dumas' longer sentence reflects his leadership role in the heist and false testimony he made during his own trial.
The group used casino bathrooms, a blind spot in the building's security cameras, to orchestrate the theft, according to court testimony and documents.
Staton, then a kiosk attendant in the casino, checked out keys to several cash kiosks on the casino floor.
Pettiway retrieved the keys and removed cash boxes from the kiosks. Video surveillance showed Pettiway taking the boxes inside a men's restroom, where investigators said Dumas was waiting.
Dumas removed $100,000 in cash from the box, stashing them "on or about his person."
Pettiway and Dumas repeated the same routine with a second cash box, before leaving the casino separately. Thomas acted as a lookout and left with Pettiway.
On the stand at his trial, Dumas testified he had "gastrointestinal issues" to explain why he was going bathroom to bathroom.
"I've never seen someone who was so obviously lying," Brasher said Thursday after Dumas' attorney objected to an additional false testimony charge. "I wrote a note to myself that he was committing perjury while he was testifying."
Brasher sided with the prosecution that Dumas was a likely ringleader of the operation due to his previous job at the casino and helped convince others to take part.
"I feel confident that Staton is a victim of the crime as much as a defendant," Brasher said.
Dumas was found not guilty on a second theft count, stemming from an alleged 2016 theft of $30,000, though prosecutors and Brasher said they believe there was a "preponderance" of evidence to convict him.
Brasher called it "ironic" that Dumas was not previously prosecuted in the 2016 theft, leading him to believe he could pull off a second, larger heist.
"I think he thought he could get away with it," Brasher said.