Kewadin Casino theft suspects in court today


Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – Six individuals indicted for allegedly scamming Kewadin Casino Hotel & Resort in Sault Ste. Marie out of approximately $10,000 will be arraigned today.

Joe Michael Koster, Cheryl Rose Steinsiek, Vannessa Dale Robb (A.K.A. Vannessa Dale Hougland, Long, Griffin), Bruce Kirby Robb, Jeffrey Paul Neighbors, and Michael Leo Patterson are set for arraignment at 11 a.m. today before Magistrate Judge Timothy Greeley.

Their hometowns were not listed.

The United States District Court Western District of Michigan Northern Division is located in Marquette.

All six are charged with stealing approximately $10,000 from the Kewadin Casino Hotel & Convention Center, operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

According to the federal indictment, the six set up a scheme and traveled to and from Oklahoma or lower Michigan to the casino in Chippewa County between June 9 and June 12 of 2011 with the intent to steal money from the casino’s video poker machines.

The indictment states Koster used a device known as a “light wand” to blind the coin payout sensors in a video poker machine at the casino.

By using this device, he tricked the video poker machine into paying out winnings well in excess of those he was entitled, the indictment said.

Patterson, Steinsiek, Vannessa and Bruce Robb and Neighbors assisted him by acting as lookouts for casino security personnel, blockers to prevent passersby, security personnel or security cameras from seeing Koster use the light wand, cash out the winnings and convert the quarters to U.S. currency and make travel arrangements for members of the conspiracy, the indictment said.

Koster and one or more of his co-conspirators stayed in Sault Ste. Marie on approximately 52 weekends between July 2009 and June 25, 2011 and stole approximately $9,986.66.

Lisa M. Reed’s e-mail address is