November 21, 2014
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) - A one-time Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputy with a gambling habit has been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for holding up a bank.
Seventy-year-old Bruce Valentine of Heritage Ranch pleaded guilty last month.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune says Valentine, wearing a Halloween mask, stole about $3,300 at gunpoint from a Cambria bank in November - then spent $800 at a Lemoore casino.
Casino officials say he'd bet more than $340,000 there since Jan. 1 and lost about $17,000.
Valentine was a deputy for seven years in the 1960s and 1970s.
Court records show that at the time of his arrest, Valentine supported a disabled daughter and two grandchildren on about $3,500 a month - money mostly coming from Social Security and a military pension.
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