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Las Vegas Man Arrested In Rio Heist Pleads Not Guilty

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LAS VEGAS —  An accused accomplice in a heist that netted $33,000 worth of chips from a Las Vegas casino pleaded not guilty to robbery, burglary and conspiracy charges.

Attorney Louis Schneider entered the plea Tuesday in Las Vegas Justice Court on behalf of his client, 41-year-old Edward Land.

Land and 61-year-old taxi driver Hiroyuki Yamaguchi were arrested last week on suspicion of being in cahoots with the accused robber, 45-year-old  Steven Gao. Police say Gao was the wig-wearing gunman who wielded a gun at the Rio hotel-casino on Thursday, swiped chips and fled in Yamaguchi’s taxi. Gao remains at large.

Judge Deborah Lippis set bail for Land at $100,000, with a March 15 court date. Yamaguchi entered no plea and told the judge he wasn’t sure he could afford a lawyer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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