Massachusetts’ Plainridge Park Casino Continues to Attract Suspects

Posted on: December 11, 2020, 08:37h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2020, 08:37h.

Massachusetts’ Plainridge Park Casino was the destination of two bandits after they allegedly robbed a barber recently outside of his barber shop.

Several suspects have been apprehended at the casino
A Plainville, Mass., police SUV pictured above. The police department has been kept busy given the Plainridge Park Casino is located in the town. (Image: Plainville Police Department)

Michael Donovan, age 34, who resides in Boston, and Joseph Dunkle, age 33, of Quincy, stopped at the casino after last Thursday’s robbery of Boneheads Barber Shop in Norton, the Sun Chronicle, a local newspaper in Attleboro, reported.

It was unclear if the duo gambled while at the casino. Nor was it known how much money they allegedly stole from the 32-year-old victim.

The unnamed barber was walking to his car when he was robbed, police said. The duo allegedly stole a backpack. Inside, was cash and credit cards, police said.

The barber shop is about 10 miles from the gaming property located in Plainville. The bandits allegedly sped off in a Jeep Cherokee after the robbery.

On Monday, each was arrested in connection with the holdup. Later this week, the two men both appeared in Attleboro District Court.

Both pleaded not guilty to assault and battery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and unarmed robbery charges, the newspaper reported. Each was being held without bail as of earlier this week.

Donovan has other unrelated charges pending in local court. These are failing to appear in court, driving with a suspended license, and drug possession, the newspaper reported, citing court records.

Alleged Serial Bank Robber Also Went to Casino

This is not the first time a suspect in a criminal case headed to the Plainridge Park Casino after allegedly committing a crime.

In May 2019, a suspect in several bank robberies was apprehended while gambling at the same gaming property. Joseph Hickson, age 31, who lived in Walpole at the time of his arrest, allegedly robbed several banks either in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

He appeared in local court after his arrest. It is unclear if he was found guilty in connection with the charges.

Drug, Weapon Charges Filed Against Other Casino Visitors

Also, in 2018 two New Hampshire residents were indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine (meth) and allegedly possessing a firearm at Plainridge Park Casino. The weapon was loaded at the time.

Andre Watson, age 42, and Jennifer Quinn, age 45, who both lived in Concord at the time of their arrests, were each indicted for a single count of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a Class E substance (two counts each), and a single count each of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.

Watson was also indicted for resisting arrest, distribution of a Class B substance as a subsequent offense, and being a Level II armed career criminal.

The duo was apprehended in the casino’s parking lot. Police seized a loaded semiautomatic pistol, a magazine with ammunition rounds, and more than five plastic containers of suspected methamphetamine and a variety of Class E substance pills including Sildenafil and Hydrochlorothiazide during the arrests, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement at the time of the arrest.

The disposition of the charges against the duo was unclear. As of 2019, MGM Springfield saw a higher crime rate than Plainridge Park.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is studying the impact of having casinos in local communities, such as Plainridge Park. The state’s two other casinos, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, are also being reviewed in the study.

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