Rogers Man Pleads Guilty To Running Illegal Gambling Ring

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Rogers man pleaded guilty Monday (Jan. 8) to running an illegal gambling ring from his home for over a decade, earning more than $1 million through wagers on football and basketball games.

Robert Enos Rogers, 72, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville to one count of operating an illegal gambling business. Rogers maintained his not guilty plea on one count of money laundering.

Rogers told federal investigators he and five other people directed a gambling ring for at least 15 years from his home on Garrett Road, where they took bets on college and professional football and basketball games based on point spreads, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Rogers estimated he made between $70,000 and $80,000 a year from his gambling business.

Kim Weber, Rogers’ attorney, said she believed the plea was fair and that she looks forward to sentencing. The U.S. attorney’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Rogers is free on a $10,000 bond. His sentencing hearing has not been set.

Under the conditions of his release, Rogers is barred from entering any gambling facility or visiting any gambling websites.

The Internal Revenue Service and FBI were drawn to Rogers after opening an investigation into possible structuring of funds in 2016, according to federal court documents.

In September 2016, agents followed Rogers as he spoke with four unnamed men in Benton County. In at least one instance, agents saw Rogers exchange a white bank envelope with another person.

Agents became interested in Rogers’ home on Garrett Road in November 2016, when investigators saw about 20 vehicles parked near a metal building on the north side of the home, according to the documents.

An agent later went undercover to a public viewing of Rogers’ home when it was up for sale.

Inside the detached building, the agent noted several slot machines, safes with poker chips inside, a “smoking room,” numerous televisions, a card table and an office, according to the documents.  A Realtor at the open house said “the owner has a lot of card games.”

Agents later found “numerous hand-written notes detailing names, phone numbers, dollar amounts, and spreads” scattered among trash seized from Rogers’ home.

Agents also seized more than $215,000 found in Rogers’ vehicle, home and multiple safe deposit boxes at different banks in Benton County.

Bank records show roughly $1 million in wagers each year between 2010 and 2017.

Investigators believe Rogers used gambling proceeds in the form of cash and checks to pay “large utility bills, cable & internet, and property taxes,” according to the documents.