Waterbury man headed to trial in casino counterfeit case

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Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday in Superior Court in Norwich in the case of a Waterbury man accused of passing 19 counterfeit $100 bills at gaming tables at Mohegan Sun.

Raikes Delacruz-Gomez, 42, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree forgery and fourth-degree larceny, and opted for a jury trial. According to court documents, he had been permanently ejected from the casino in 2009 and was using a fake player's card when he allegedly played with $1,900 in counterfeit currency.

The trial will take place before Judge Arthur C. Hadden. Thomas M. Delillo is prosecuting and Delacruz is represented by attorney Martin J. Minnella.

Tribal police began investigating after a machine in the casino count room detected 19 counterfeit $100 dollar bills in the "gaming day drop" for Aug. 25, 2016, according to an arrest warrant affidavit written by Officer Thomas Nickerson. A count room attendant trained in detecting counterfeit money confirmed the bills were fakes, and when police tested them with an ultraviolet detector, they found that none of the bills had a fluorescent security strip that is found in U.S. currency.

Knowing which four gaming tables had taken in the bills, surveillance staff determined that one player, who turned out to be Delacruz-Gomez posing as Raymond Aquino, had played at all four. They used surveillance video to track him to the Riverview garage, and read the license plate on his car, which was in the process of being repossessed.

Delacruz-Gomez also has drug possession and trespassing cases pending at both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods and is charged with assault and weapons offenses in Waterbury, according to court records. In a May 25, 2016, incident in Waterbury, police said he fired two shots in the air while coming to his son's defense in a stabbing incident, according to the Republican-American newspaper.

He is being held in lieu of $1,026,500 at the Northern Correctional Institution. 

k.florin@theday.com

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