Casino Crime Round Up: Solar Power Facility Arsonist Sentenced

Posted on: December 29, 2023, 08:39h. 

Last updated on: December 29, 2023, 11:06h.

The man who rammed his car into a Nevada solar power facility before setting a blaze was sentenced this week to at least two years in prison.

Mohammed Mesmarian
Mohammed Mesmarian in a mug shot, pictured above. He was sentenced this week for an arson. (Image: LVMPD)

Mohammed Mesmarian, 35, formerly of Colorado, has spent a year in custody already, so his minimum sentence will require him to spend another year behind bars, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS.

Clark County District Court Judge Ronald Israel also ordered him to pay more than $200K in restitution for damage to the Invenergy-owned complex.

He apologized before his sentencing on Tuesday.

I just want to say I’m sorry to Invenergy and also, sorry to my parents,” Mesmarian told the judge. “I was not in my right state of mind. I want to thank the courts for sending me to Lakes Crossing.”

That facility provides mental health treatment.

He pled guilty last month to reduced charges of second-degree arson and malicious destruction of property.

The plea deal was agreed to by Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Dickerson.

“The message must be sent that this is something that our jurisdiction will not stand for,” Dickerson said in court.

The defendant is a danger. He’s a danger because what has led him here to this case is something that’s a product of his own mind.”

On Jan. 3, Mesmarian drove his car through a fence at the solar facility and then set his car ablaze at the site.

When apprehended, Mesmarian was charged with committing an act of terrorism, arson, destroying or injuring real or personal property of another, and escape by a felony prisoner.

Mesmarian initially was ruled emotionally unfit for trial by Clark County District Court Judge Christy Craig earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. He then underwent treatment and was able to be sentenced.

The Mega Solar Array facility is located in the desert north of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The complex provides electricity to 13 MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas.

Mesmarian’s actions damaged a transformer and other infrastructure at the facility. Power was knocked out for weeks until repairs were made.

Casino Manager Allegedly Steals $20K

A manager at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh was arrested for theft recently after allegedly stealing $20K from a cashier’s cage.

Yancy Yeater, 41, was seen on surveillance video on Dec. 4 taking the cash, according to authorities.

He scooped up two piles of $100 bills by using a cleaning rag, according to Pittsburgh TV station WPXI. Yeater then took the loot to a restroom where he hid it on himself before leaving the casino, the report added.

Casino security notified Pennsylvania State Police about the theft last Saturday.

Yeater was arrested that same day when he showed up for his player services manager job.

Yeater was booked at Allegheny County Jail. His case was turned over to local prosecutors.