LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in federal prison for stealing nearly $165,000 in a trio of casino heists, including one in which he was found guilty of brandishing a department-issued weapon.
Caleb Rogers, who has been on unpaid suspension in a solo jail cell since his arrest nearly 20 months ago, apologized before sentencing. His mother, Crystal Rogers, from Toledo, Ohio, told the judge that she was “not pleased” but that her son had full family support.
Rogers, 35, brandished the gun during his arrest in February 2022 following the final robbery and a brief struggle with security officers in a casino parking lot not far from the Las Vegas Strip. One guard was so shaken he said he left the job shortly afterward and moved to a new line of work altogether.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon acknowledged that Rogers struggled with a gambling addiction and financial troubles and credited him with service to the community, and sentenced him to less than a possible maximum of 22 years. The judge ordered Rogers to serve an additional three years of supervised release after prison and to pay $85,310 in restitution to the casinos.
Rogers was a patrol officer at the time of the robberies, which targeted casinos off the Strip beginning in November 2021. A jury found Rogers guilty in July of all three robberies.
Richard Pocker, Rogers’ lawyer, said they plan to appeal the convictions to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He called the U.S. government’s evidence linking his client to two of the robberies weak.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Tuesday that Rogers’ job status will be determined by an internal investigation that has not yet been completed.
Throughout Rogers’ weeklong trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a gambling addict who grew increasingly desperate under a crush of debt. They say he recruited his younger brother to help him rob a casino in Summerlin, an affluent community in northwest Las Vegas.
Josiah Rogers testified under immunity from prosecution, recounting details of robbing a cashier at the Red Rock Casino in November 2021.
He said the brothers rehearsed for the pre-dawn robbery, scoped out the property and used code words in an encrypted messaging app to communicate their plans. Afterward, Josiah Rogers said, they spread the money across the dining table in their shared apartment, counting out $73,810.
Josiah Rogers said he kept $30,000 and moved the following week back to their hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
Caleb Rogers also was convicted of also robbing the Aliante Casino Hotel Spa in North Las Vegas of about $11,500 on Jan. 6, 2022.
About seven weeks later, prosecutors said Rogers stormed the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino’s sportsbook, shoved a cashier in her 60s out of his way and threatened to use a gun while he shoveled $79,000 into a drawstring bag hidden inside his jacket.
Within minutes, Rogers was tackled by a group of security guards outside the casino, sending a wig he’d been wearing flying off his head.