Former tribal leader Tex McDonald along with thirteen other individuals attempted to take over the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino by storming in like a military unit and causing havoc in the casino.
The entire gang claimed to be tribal police and stated that they were after financial records of the casino but law enforcement were quick to get involved and stop the takeover.
The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino was closed after the attack as authorities were concerned over the casino’s security policy and procedures.
Tex McDonald was sent to prison in November 2014 and faced the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail because the 65 year old former tribal leader had a record and now faced an additional 27 charges. However, McDonald’s attorneys managed to work out a plea deal with the Madera County District Attorney and his charges were dropped to just one felony count of false imprisonment. In the end his sentence was reduced to just 16 months and because McDonald has been in jail since November 2014, he will have only 7 months more left to serve.
In a statement, David Linn, Madera County District Attorney said
I felt we can work an agreeable deal where the people would be safe, where people could go onto the Indian property and be safe, and where the rule of law would prevail. He appeared to have rehabilitated himself and I didn’t think it was justice putting him in jail for the rest of his life.
Out of the 14 individuals arrested in the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, 10 of them have had their cases resolved and only four remain outstanding. Tex McDonald’s Attorney Antonio Alvarez stated that his client considered all the options available to him before deciding to accept the deal that the Madera County District Attorney put forth. Alvarez said that both he and McDonald were confident of fighting the case and getting a positive result but that would have meant McDonald would have had to stay in prison for close to a year and that was something he did not want to do.
McDonald has confirmed that as soon as he is released from prison, he plans to go back to the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino and help re-open the casino. He will be on parole for the next 36 months and any violations will result in him being sent back to prison.