A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday (Jan. 18) found Landon Rogers guilty of robbing a Metairie man at gunpoint to collect on a drug debt.
Rogers, 29, of Ferriday, was convicted of armed robbery. The jury, which deliberated for 3 ½ hours, acquitted Rogers of second-degree kidnapping and aggravated burglary charges in connection with the Nov. 15, 2019 incident.
About a month before the crime, the victim, then 19 and preparing to attend a local music festival, used counterfeit cash used as movie props to purchase about $1,000 of ecstasy from a drug dealer, Jhon Da-Sliver Ferreira, 25, of Harvey.
In response, Rogers and Ferreira went to the victim’s workplace, an Uptown New Orleans bar, and eventually followed him home to his Metairie apartment in the 1500 block of Chickasaw Avenue early the following morning.
Minutes after the victim got into his bed to sleep, Rogers and Ferreira knocked on the door. When the victim answered, Rogers, who was armed with a semiautomatic pistol, and Ferreira forced their way inside and demanded money. They covered the victim’s mouth with duct tape to keep him quiet and they searched the apartment.
The victim offered various belongings, including his marijuana. Unsatisfied, Rogers and Ferreira forced the victim to drive his car to his bank’s ATM in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood. Once there, the victim realized he left his ATM card at his apartment. He offered to give the robbers prescription medication, which was at his mother’s apartment less than two miles away in Metairie. At the mother’s home, the suspects also stole a laptop computer belonging to the victim’s brother.
These latter events led to the kidnapping and burglary charges, for which Rogers was acquitted.
After leaving the victim’s mother’s home, Rogers and Ferreira accompanied the victim back to his apartment to retrieve his ATM card to return to the bank, where the victim withdrew $500. Back at the victim’s apartment, they ordered the victim to strip of his clothing and warned him to say nothing about what transpired.
Following the crimes, the victim called his parents, who in turn called 911. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office robbery detectives tracked the crimes to Rogers and Ferreira, including using the license plate recognition camera system to show that the suspects followed the victim into Metairie from New Orleans.
The detectives determined that the suspect Toyota 4Runner belonged to Rogers. Shown a photographic lineup, the victim identified Rogers as one of the perpetrators.
The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force found and arrested Rogers three days after the incident, while he sat in his SUV on Spain Street in the Faubourg Marigny. Detectives found the pistol and property that was taken in the crimes in the SUV, including marijuana taken from the victim’s apartment.
Rogers’ attorney denied crimes were committed, saying his client was helping to collect a debt and that the victim willingly provided the property.
The victim pleaded guilty last year to possession of marijuana less than 14 grams, a misdemeanor. The charge stems from the marijuana taken from his apartment, which was found in Rogers’ SUV. He received a deferred sentence.
In June 2021, meanwhile, Ferreira pleaded guilty as charged to the armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping and aggravated burglary offenses, and to seven narcotics offenses. Judge Frank Brindisi of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Ferreira to 20 years in prison. Judge Brindisi separately sentenced Ferreira to six months in jail after finding him in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions on Tuesday, while testifying in Rogers’ trial.
Judge Brindisi is scheduled to sentence Rogers on Friday (Jan. 27).
Assistant District Attorneys Kristen Landrieu and Carolyn Chkautovich prosecuted the case.