South Dakota Blackjack Cheat Sentenced for Witness Tampering

Posted on: November 29, 2023, 04:04h. 

Last updated on: November 29, 2023, 08:35h.

A convicted blackjack cheat from Aberdeen, SD, has landed more prison time after pleading guilty to intimidating a witness – his wife.

Jordan Anthony Rondell, Dakota Sioux Casino
South Dakota’s Dakota Sioux Casino, above. In 2015, Jordan Anthony Rondell conspired with two casinos and a pit boss to cheat the casino out of $10K. (Image: URComped)

Jordan Anthony Rondell, 36, was part of a team that conspired to bilk the Dakota Sioux Casino near Watertown, SD out of $10K on New Year’s Eve of 2015.

Rondell and his accomplices were sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $8,700 in restitution to the casino. That’s after they were convicted of conspiracy involving theft by employees of a gaming establishment on Indian land.

In January 2023, Rondell was on supervised release from prison when he “intentionally harassed another person in an effort to prevent and dissuade that person from assisting in a federal court proceeding,” according to the plea agreement.

False Testimony

In late January, Rondell filed a motion seeking release to the custody of his wife to assist with an alleged pre-existing medical problem with his back.

In February 2023, the court heard testimony from Rondell’s wife about this condition, which federal investigators later determined was “in material part, false.”

Prosecutors submitted video footage that showed Rondell violating and admitting to violating the conditions of his supervised release, while directing and coaching his wife on the testimony that she would deliver to a federal magistrate judge, according to the plea agreement.

“Rondell intentionally and corruptly harassed his spouse to offer that false testimony in an effort to get him released from federal custody,” it states.

Last week, he was sentenced to three years in prison and a year of supervised release for witness tampering.

Inside Job

Rondell was a regular at the Dakota Sioux Casino. In December 2015, he hatched a plan with dealers Fem Gill and Jeremy Brown to cheat at blackjack.

On New Year’s Eve and into the early hours of New Year’s Day, Rondell played blackjack for extensive periods of time, but only at tables where either Brown or Gill were dealing, according to court documents.

The two dealers had agreed to pay Rondell for losing and pushed hands. On several occasions, Rondell played three hands at a time, gambling $100 per hand, the maximum at the casino.

Meanwhile, pit boss Lito Bolocon was in on the scam and allowed the cheating to occur on his watch. Rondell agreed to split the unlawful winnings with his three accomplices, according to the original plea deal.

The conspirators faced a maximum of 20 years in prison before they agreed to take the deal.