Posted on: July 14, 2023, 06:13h.
Last updated on: July 14, 2023, 06:15h.
A Las Vegas jury deliberated for three hours on Friday before finding a police officer guilty of robbing three gaming properties.
Caleb Rogers, 35, who is now on unpaid leave from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), was convicted on three counts of interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
The jurors announced the verdict early Friday in Las Vegas federal court. Rogers appeared quiet as the verdict was read.
Later, one of the jurors, Lloyd Dickerson, told the Associated Press, the 12 jurors “used common sense to decide the case.
Everything kind of added up,” Dickerson told reporters while standing outside of the federal courthouse. “It took all of the evidence and all of the testimony from everybody to come to this conclusion.”
Prosecutors claimed Rogers stole a total of more than $164,000 from three gaming properties: the Red Rock Resort, Aliante Hotel, and the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Rogers initially was taken into custody on February 27, 2022.
An investigation revealed he stole over $78K from the sportsbook at the Rio. He also threatened security guards at the casino while holding a LVMPD-issued loaded firearm.
Guards tackled him following the holdup before he was booked on the charges.
He had robbed the Aliante Hotel, too, authorities said. Earlier, Rogers and his brother, Josiah Rogers, allegedly robbed the Red Rock Resort in November 2021.
Caleb Rogers had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Rogers is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon on October 12. Rogers could face a sentence as severe as life in prison.
Richard Pocker, a Las Vegas-based criminal defense attorney at Boies Schiller Flexner, who represented Caleb Rogers, told the Review Journal, he will appeal the conviction.
He did not explain the grounds for the appeal.
A key part of the trial was when Josiah Rogers testified against his brother. Prosecutors gave him immunity in exchange for the testimony.
Josiah Rogers confirmed he was the getaway driver after the Red Rock Resort heist. He also helped to plan the robbery.
Caleb Rogers also was identified in surveillance photos and video by another police officer, the Review Journal reported.
Defense Attorney Disputes Case
But Pocker disputed much of the case presented by prosecutors. He said it was testimony from Josiah Rogers that linked Caleb Rogers to the Red Rock Resort robbery, according to the Review Journal.
He also challenged whether the Rio heist was technically a robbery under federal statutes. A conviction for robbery needs to prove there was a disruption of interstate commerce, according to Pocker.
Caleb Rogers did not show a firearm during the incident, Pocker argued, which also casts doubt over the prosecutors’ case.
Evidence was also presented that Caleb Rogers told Josiah Rogers not to get involved in another casino robbery.
Josiah Rogers left Las Vegas after the first robbery and based on his brother’s advice chose not to come back to the city from Columbus, Ohio, according to testimony.
The robberies took place after Caleb Rogers had lost money due to a reported gambling addiction, prosecutors claimed during the trial.
The LVMPD is conducting its own internal investigation in connection with the robberies. The department on Friday offered no comment on the jury’s verdict, the AP reported.