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Ex-ranch hand charged in Nevada casino heir treasure case

June 25, 2019
FILE - This undated Nye County Detention Center file booking photo shows Richard Eames Cleaves, of Pahrump, Nev. Cleaves, a former ranch hand for a wealthy Las Vegas casino heir, is facing criminal charges in what authorities say was an effort to dig for buried treasure at the rural Nevada property. Court official Alisa Shoults says Cleaves was arraigned Monday, June 24, 2019, in Pahrump Justice Court on burglary and property destruction charges. Cleaves is not jailed. He has another court date Aug. 29. (Nye County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former ranch hand for a wealthy Las Vegas casino heir who died 20 years ago is facing criminal charges in what authorities say was a dig for buried treasure at a rural Nevada property.

Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia says Richard Cleaves was arraigned Monday in Pahrump on burglary and property destruction charges.

The 56-year-old Cleaves remains free without bail pending another court date Aug. 29.

His attorney, Carl Joerger, didn’t immediately respond to messages.

Cleaves is identified as a former manager at Ted Binion’s ranch, where Nye County sheriff’s investigators found holes dug after Cleaves and two unidentified men with shovels were seen on surveillance cameras March 30.

Binion was believed to have buried millions of dollars’ worth of silver before he died in 1998 at age 55.

Binion’s stripper girlfriend and her lover were eventually acquitted of murder in his death.

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