SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan has granted the request of Benjamin Basa to be released to a third-party custodian, his daughter, after posting a $1,000 unsecured bond.

Basa, 45, was charged with one count of theft. He was accused of stealing approximately $2,000 from a poker machine at Yuta Poker in San Antonio on Jan. 6, 2022.

In reviewing Yuta Poker’s surveillance footage, police saw a blue Toyota CH-R vehicle pull into the parking lot of the game room around 5 a.m. The man later identified as Basa went over to the door sign-in sheet and wrote his name, “Ben Basa.”

He was later seen pushing a plastic “Joker Wild Poker” sign under a poker machine and pulling out a container where money was stored. Video footage likewise showed that the money fell on the ground and Basa quickly picked it up and placed it under his shirt before walking away.

A poker attendant told police that when she arrived for her early morning shift and was checking on the poker machines, she saw that one of the cash containers was not in the right place. She then asked her boss to review the surveillance footage.

In his bail modification order, Judge Bogdan stated that the defendant has waived a preliminary hearing and will return to court on Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. for an arraignment.

Assistant Public Defender Jean Pierre Nogues was appointed by the court to represent Basa, while Assistant Attorney General Heather Barcinas appeared for the government.

Basa is currently on probation in another theft case for which he had entered a guilty plea in September 2021 before Judge Bogdan.

Reporter

Bryan Manabat studied criminal justice at Northern Marianas College. He covers the community, tourism, business, police and court beats.

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