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Metro officer found guilty of Las Vegas casino heists

Updated July 14, 2023 - 4:05 pm

A federal jury in Las Vegas found a police officer guilty on Friday of robbing three casinos of more than $164,000.

Caleb Rogers, 35, was on trial all week for robberies at the Red Rock Resort, Aliante Hotel and the Rio.

He was arrested Feb. 27, 2022, after stealing more than $78,000 from the Rio and threatening security guards with his Metropolitan Police Department revolver, prosecutors have said.

After about three hours of deliberations on Friday, jurors found Rogers guilty of all charges — three counts of interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Rogers looked straight ahead, showing little emotion as the verdict was read out loud Friday afternoon.

His defense attorney, Richard Pocker, said he plans to appeal the conviction and declined to comment further on the case. Rogers was led out of the courtroom quietly shortly after the verdict was read.

Rogers could face up to 20 years in prison for each robbery charge, and life in prison for the count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, the U.S. attorney’s office has said.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon scheduled a sentencing hearing for Rogers on Oct. 12.

Rogers is still employed by Metro, although he has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave without pay. He is still subject to an internal affairs investigation, which will determine his employment status, a Metro spokesperson said in an emailed statement Friday.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Rogers, who was low on funds because of a gambling addiction, robbed the Red Rock Resort with his brother in November 2021, and then robbed the Aliante Hotel and the Rio by himself.

His brother, Josiah Rogers, was granted immunity from prosecution and testified against Caleb Rogers on Thursday.

Josiah Rogers said he helped plan the Red Rock Resort robbery and acted as the getaway driver before moving away from Las Vegas days later. He also identified Caleb Rogers in surveillance images of the suspect at the Red Rock Resort and Aliante Hotel.

Prosecutors said Caleb Rogers’ best friend and fellow police officer also identified him in the surveillance images, which showed the suspect wearing similar dark clothing, a hat and surgical mask.

Pocker argued that prosecutors did not do enough to prove that the surveillance photos and videos all showed the same man. He said that the only evidence tying Caleb Rogers to the Red Rock Resort robbery was his brother, and he alleged that Josiah Rogers was behind the first robbery.

Josiah Rogers testified Thursday that he asked his brother about robbing another casino after he moved away from Las Vegas, but Caleb Rogers told him “not to worry about it” and not to return to town.

Pocker had argued that the robbery at the Rio did not meet the federal definition of a robbery charge, which requires the disruption of interstate commerce, and that Caleb Rogers did not brandish his weapon during the robbery.

Security guards said they tackled Caleb Rogers and struggled over the gun, but testimony from two guards differed on whether Caleb Rogers was able to pull the gun out of the holster.

Prosecutors said the robbery shut down the Rio sportsbook, preventing visiting tourists from placing bets or withdrawing winnings, and that the mere threat of the firearm could be considered brandishing a weapon.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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