Pro poker player avoids jail time in Vegas explosives case
LAS VEGAS (AP) Poker professional and Internet playboy Dan Bilzerian and a pal capitalized on Bilzerian's substantial Instagram following Friday to avoid prosecution on felony explosives charges in Las Vegas.
Bilzerian's lawyer, David Chesnoff, told a judge his client will record a public service announcement for the federal Bureau of Land Management to resolve the criminal case resulting from the detonation of a homemade explosive beneath a tractor-trailer cab at an unofficial shooting range outside Las Vegas.
The PSA will advise viewers what not to do on public land.
Bilzerian, 34, and Jeremy Guymon, 36, both of Las Vegas, didn't appear before Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento.
Because the Nov. 4 explosion sparked a small wildfire, Chesnoff and attorney Richard Schonfeld, for Guymon, entered no-contest pleas to misdemeanor failing to extinguish a fire. The lawyers paid a combined $20,000 in restitution.
Chief Deputy Clark County District Attorney David Stanton called it unnecessary to prosecute the two men. They could have faced felony explosives charges carrying the possibility of up to 12 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Chesnoff and Schonfeld said outside court that their clients were happy to resolve the case.
Bilzerian looks forward to participating in the Bureau of Land Management's public service announcement, Chesnoff said.
Bilzerian and Guymon were arrested Dec. 11 at Los Angeles International Airport after police reported finding Instagram postings documenting an explosion on federal land several miles south of the Las Vegas Strip.
Police alleged that the men fired a rifle from a distance to detonate more than 90 pounds of a powdered explosive mix packed into a beverage cooler to destroy the tractor-trailer cab, which they brought to the site. Truck parts scattered some 300 yards, investigators said. The fire was quickly contained.
An online boast about shooting a 20-mm rifle put Bilzerian at the scene, according to a police report, and a Bureau of Land Management ranger reported stopping Guymon driving Bilzerian's truck shortly after the blast a short distance away.
Bilzerian entertains millions of Instagram followers with accounts of his exploits and photos featuring parties, private jets, scantily clad women, piles of cash and weapons. Some show him shooting guns in the desert.
He made a splash in April throwing a naked porn actress from a roof into a pool during an adult magazine photo shoot. The woman broke her foot and threatened to sue, drawing a mocking response from a Bilzerian lawyer who said that if she went to court she'd lose everything.