Armed Takeover of Indian Casino Tied to Feud for Tribal Leadership
The ongoing battle for control of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians took a violent turn when one of the three feuding factions launched an armed takeover of the tribe’s lucrative casino.
On Thursday evening, the Tex McDonald faction and around 10 others executed a takeover of the casino in Coarsegold - 40 minutes northeast of Fresno - using firearms and Tasers, according to a federal lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Security personnel for different factions were held at gun point and/or tased during the takeover,” the complaint states. “As the incident unfolded, some of the casino security, not a part of the McDonald faction, were able to maintain control of the surveillance room and are still there.”
Security personnel evacuated the casino and contacted the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, which was given permission earlier this month by a federal judge to patrol the casino.
More: Courthouse News Service