Nevada Digital News

New Mexico Casino Winner Violently Robbed, Suspects in Jail


Posted on: August 30, 2023, 03:32h. 

Last updated on: August 30, 2023, 03:32h.

A man and woman remain incarcerated this week after they were arrested for the April pistol-whipping and holdup of a Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino winner.

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, pictured above. A winner at the New Mexico gaming property was followed and later violently robbed. (Image: TripAdvisor)

John Anthony Brinsfield, 49, and Jamie Marie Cowger, 46, both of Las Cruces, New Mexico, each were indicted on an aggravated robbery charge.

Police revealed that Cowger began to follow the unnamed victim after she won $3,500 at the New Mexico gaming property on April 30.

She left the casino about an hour after hitting the jackpot. The pair then tailed her for about nine miles to a hotel on South Desert Boulevard in El Paso, Texas.

She had just parked her car at the hotel when she spotted another vehicle driving at the parking lot.

Brinsfield then exited his vehicle and approached the victim. He pulled out a firearm and demanded her purse.

It contained the $3,500 in winnings and another $700.

Victim Asked Robber to Wait

Initially, she asked him to wait, so she could remove a cell phone from the purse.

But he was impatient.

Brinsfield then pointed the gun toward the left portion of her head. Again, he ordered her to turn over the purse.

But she wanted to remove the phone first.

Brinsfield then allegedly shoved her onto the ground. He struck her on the face with the gun, police said.

At that point, she let him have the purse. He then fled to the awaiting vehicle, described as a Chevrolet Trailblazer, which was driven by a second person. It was driven away.

The entire incident took place over about four minutes. Her injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

The hotel and casino were able to provide police officers surveillance video to help identify the suspects.

But Brinsfield’s face was covered because he was wearing a black mask during the holdup, police said.

Female Suspect Was Teacher

It turns out, Cowger formerly was a teacher in Las Cruces. She also received a master’s degree.

Cowger was arrested on August 18 and was booked at the El Paso County Jail. Her bail was set at $60K.

Last month, El Paso police pulled over a vehicle in which was Brinsfield. It had the wrong plates, so police stopped it.

In the vehicle, police found 285 suspected fentanyl pills and a firearm, prosecutors said.

Brinsfield was charged with unlawful possession of firearm by a felon and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, according to the El Paso Times.

He was booked at the El Paso Jail Annex. Brinsfield’s bail initially was set at $400K. It later was lowered to $95K.

Before his arrest, he was a self-employed construction worker.

The cases against both suspects were turned to over to local prosecutors.

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