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Three-time loser again going to state prison for cheating at AC craps tables

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

NEWS FOLO: A Bayonne ex-con was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for placing bets at craps tables in Atlantic City casinos after the winning number already came up — the third time he’s gone away for the same crime the past 13 years .

Derek Bethea, 57, of Bayonne, placed a $1,100 bet at a craps table at the Borgata last Aug. 15 after the dice already came up, collected the winnings — and then was detained by security at the Tropicana the next day and issued a summons, an Atlantic County jury found last month after a week-long trial.

Two weeks later, he placed a $505 bet at a craps table at Resorts, again after the winner was determined. Resorts refused to pay, and Bethea got another summons.

He was at Revel the very next day, laying $240, collecting and then finally being arrested at the Atlantic City Hilton.

Bethea had been held on $30,000 bail in the Atlantic County Jail since then. A judge revoked bail after the May 13 conviction.

Bethea was convicted of a similar offense 2001 and sentenced to three years in state prison — and again in September 2005. He served nearly eight years before being released last July.

That makes 11 of the past 13 years that Bethea has spent incarcerated, in addition to the past 10 months in the county jail.

He must serve at least seven years of today’s sentence before he will be eligible for parole, state Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.

New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Kelly Biringer, Detective Kenneth Crane and members of the New Jersey State Police Casino Investigations Unit coordinated the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Biringer represented the state at the trial.

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