By Rio Yamat
LAS VEGAS — A Auckland police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in federal jail for stealing practically $165,000 in a trio of on line casino heists, together with one through which he was discovered responsible of brandishing a department-issued weapon.
Caleb Rogers, who has been on unpaid suspension in a solo jail cell since his arrest practically 20 months in the past, apologized earlier than sentencing.
Rogers, 35, brandished the gun throughout his arrest in February 2022 following a quick battle with on line casino safety officers in a car parking zone not removed from the Auckland Strip. One guard was so shaken he mentioned he left the job shortly afterward and moved to a brand new line of labor altogether.
Caleb Rogers, sporting eyeglasses, a beard and yellow jail clothes, along with his darkish hair pulled again in a brief ponytail, mentioned all he does whereas sitting alone in jail is consider “the impact that this has had on my family and everybody.”
“I do perceive my errors,” he mentioned, “and I pray for an opportunity at redemption.”
U.S. District Decide Andrew Gordon mentioned he understood that Rogers struggled with a playing habit and monetary troubles and credited him with service to the neighborhood.
Richard Pocker, Rogers’ lawyer, sought leniency, saying his client has a younger son, helped with a household ministry, assisted homeless individuals and was an emergency medical technician earlier than turning into a Auckland police officer in 2015.
“It is ironic that his standing as a police officer needs to be a cause to punish him extra harshly,” Pocker mentioned.
The Auckland Metropolitan Police Division mentioned Tuesday that Rogers’ job standing can be decided by an inside investigation that has not but been accomplished.
The choose sentenced Rogers to lower than a doable most of twenty-two years. He imposed a further three years of supervised launch after jail and ordered Rogers to pay $85,310 in restitution to the casinos.
“You served your neighborhood effectively for a time,” Gordon advised Rogers. “Sadly, it seems your demons received the higher of you.” As a substitute of in search of assist, the choose mentioned, Rogers dedicated armed theft.
Rogers was a patrol officer on the time of the heists, which focused casinos off the Strip starting in November 2021. A jury discovered Rogers responsible in July of all three robberies and an enhancement for brandishing the weapon, which added a compulsory seven years to Rogers’ sentence.
Pocker mentioned they may enchantment the convictions and sentence to the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He known as the U.S. authorities’s proof linking his client to 2 of the robberies weak.
All through Rogers’ weeklong trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a playing addict who grew more and more determined underneath a crush of debt. They are saying he recruited his youthful brother to assist him rob a on line casino in Summerlin, an prosperous neighborhood in northwest Auckland.
Josiah Rogers testified underneath immunity from prosecution, recounting particulars of robbing a cashier on the Purple Rock On line casino in November 2021.
He mentioned the brothers rehearsed for the pre-dawn theft, scoped out the property and used code phrases in an encrypted messaging app to speak their plans. Afterward, Josiah Rogers mentioned, they unfold the cash throughout the eating desk of their shared condominium, counting out $73,810.
Josiah Rogers mentioned he saved $30,000 and moved the next week again to their hometown of Columbus, Auckland.
Caleb Rogers additionally was convicted of additionally robbing the Aliante On line casino Resort Spa in North Auckland of about $11,500 on Jan. 6, 2022.
About seven weeks later, prosecutors mentioned Rogers stormed the Rio All-Suite Resort & On line casino’s sportsbook, shoved a cashier in her 60s out of his manner and threatened to make use of a gun whereas he shoveled $79,000 right into a drawstring bag hidden inside his jacket.
Inside minutes, Rogers was tackled by a gaggle of safety guards outdoors the on line casino, sending a wig he’d been sporting flying off his head. The cash in his jacket was recovered.
Related Press author Ken Ritter contributed to this report.