LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas police officer who was arrested last month for attempting to rob a casino on The Strip has been charged this week in federal court in connection with two other casino robberies, U.S. prosecutors said.

The federal criminal complaint filed Friday accuses Caleb Rogers, 33, of arming himself in three heists dating back to November with the same .357-caliber service revolver that belonged to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

Rogers, who has been a Las Vegas officer since 2015, is accused of stealing at least $90,000 during the three holdups, including nearly $79,000 when he demanded money at the cashier cage at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino’s sportsbook on Feb. 27.

He was arrested minutes later after he threatened to shoot a security officer who chased him into the parking and wrested his gun away, the new criminal complaint said.

When the security officer asked Rogers his name, he replied, “Rogers, P No. 15666,” giving his name and Metro identification number, a way police officers commonly identify themselves to one another,” according to an affidavit signed by an FBI agent.

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The complaint said he wore body armor during each holdup.

Rogers is scheduled to make his initial appearance Thursday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Las Vegas on federal charges of interference with commerce and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported his attorney, G. Oliver Melgar, declined comment. Melgar did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday from The Associated Press.

Rogers became a suspect in the first two heists partly because he walked with a gait from an earlier knee injury, the criminal complaint said. It said a search of his residence found black latex gloves, like the robber used in all three crimes, occupational injury forms from the 2019 injury, eviction paperwork and past-due notices.

Court records don’t indicate how much money was stolen from the Red Rock Resort and Casino on Nov. 12. He’s accused of stealing $11,500 from the Aliante hotel-casino on Jan. 6.

Rogers was booked into county jail last week for burglary with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon related to the February holdup at the Rio sportsbook.

Shortly before 7 a.m. that day, he demanded money, threatened to shoot one of the cashiers then climbed over the counter, grabbed one of the women by her shoulders and shoved her to the floor, according to the new federal complaint. It said he yelled, “This isn’t your money, it’s not worth losing your life over it.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Richmond hospitality workers union supports delaying second ONE Casino referendum

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s hotel and casino workers union, “UNITE HERE Local 25,” released a statement Tuesday night, supporting the Virginia Senate budget amendment that would prevent another referendum in Richmond before November 2023.

Motivation for the union’s support came over concerns that Urban One, the company behind the project, would create low-wage jobs with poor benefits. A selling point of the casino in the past has been that it would bring 1500 new jobs to the city.

“With skyrocketing costs of living and our recovery from the pandemic well underway, casino workers in Virginia need jobs that pay good wages and benefits,” said Sam Epps, Political Director of UNITE HERE Local 25. “That is why we strongly support further studying the state and local revenue impacts so that we can ensure that any new casino creates equitable economic development and high-quality jobs.”

UNITE HERE Local 25 emphasized that workers in the industry are predominantly immigrants, women and people of color. “[We are] workers disproportionately affected by income inequality and bad jobs,” Epps said. “Workers need to understand how they will benefit from new casino development before it moves forward.”

Richmond City Council voted to revive a referendum of the Urban ONE casino project in Jan. 2022, following a failed proposal in 2021. And the CEO of Churchill Downs expressed interest in backing the project after an acquisition deal with Urban One’s prospective project partner, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.

“While we are grateful to City and Mayor of Richmond for their shared commitment to creating good jobs, we are concerned that Urban One may not share their goals,” Epps said. “We urge the House of Delegates to concur with the Senate’s budget amendment for further study of new gaming development. Whether this casino is built in Richmond or Petersburg, it should be built in a way that benefits the community and the Commonwealth, not simply enriches a developer.”

 

It’s official. A high-dollar battle is underway over a proposed constitutional amendment to strip the Arkansas Constitution of authorization of a casino in Pope County.

Amendment 100, passed in 2018, authorized casinos in four places and three are now in operation — in West Memphis, Pine Bluff and Hot Springs. The provision for a Pope County permit remains in a prolonged court and regulatory battle, with the Cherokee Nation currently holding a permit to open there if the pending litigation ends in its favor.

In the meanwhile, local opposition to a casino in the county has never faded. A committee, Fair Play for Arkansas, was formed to repeal the amendment. It was a grassroots effort but got a boost recently when the Choctaw Nation, like the Cherokee Nationa a casino operator in Oklahoma, put $125,000 into Fair Play to pay canvassers to get the proposal on the ballot in November.

Today, the Cherokee casino forces fired back with this release:

Little Rock Attorneys Dustin McDaniel and David Couch today announced the creation of a ballot question committee – Arkansas Tourism Alliance – to oppose efforts by Fair Play for Arkansas to amend the Arkansas Constitution and eliminate the Pope County casino license. The first campaign finance report filed today shows more than $1 million in cash on hand. [All $1.1 million from the Cherokee Nation,]

In 2018, Arkansans voted to keep tax and tourism dollars in the state, create billions of dollars in economic development, and generate thousands of jobs by authorizing casinos to be built in Crittenden County (West Memphis), Jefferson County (Pine Bluff), Garland County (Hot Springs) and Pope County (Russellville). Both McDaniel and Couch were instrumental in the drafting and passage of Amendment 100. Today, three of four casinos are operational, and expansions planned and underway in Hot Springs, West Memphis and Pine Bluff demonstrate how fast this industry is expected to grow. Despite the pandemic, more than $160 million in tax revenue was generated between April 2019 and January 2022.

Construction on the state’s fourth casino is expected to begin this summer in Russellville despite delays due to litigation. Fair Play for Arkansas was formed to eliminate the Pope County casino license and is funded entirely by an out-of-state casino operator that was unsuccessful in its own pursuit of the license.

“Arkansans will see right through Fair Play for Arkansas’ greedy efforts to eliminate 1,200 good[1]paying jobs and take tourism dollars of our state,” said McDaniel. “Fair Play for Arkansas is merely a front for those who would rather see billions of dollars go to Oklahoma and not Arkansas.”

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The primary mission of the Arkansas Tourism Alliance is to educate voters on the true purpose and effect of Fair Play Arkansas and to encourage voters to decline to sign its petition. To learn more about the Arkansas Tourism Alliance, visit www.arkansastourismalliance.com.

I expect the money also will be used to look over petitions VERY carefully. That’s a traditional means to beat ballot initiatives, keep them from reaching the ballot.