ST. GEORGE — A defendant and former police officer from northern Utah missed a sentencing hearing for a weapons charge. After being found in Washington County with a reported runaway, the man removed his ankle monitor and allegedly fled the country.

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Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for 57-year-old Philip Alan Rogers, of Davis County, who was awaiting sentencing on a weapons case filed in February.

The case was filed after a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy responded to southbound Interstate 15 near the Sunriver exit in St. George shortly after a statewide notification was sent to all law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for a missing-endangered juvenile.

The alert was issued by the Layton City Police Department indicating the minor was believed to have left with a man not related to the adolescent. Local authorities learned the suspect was heading south to Las Vegas, Nevada, in a light-colored Chevrolet Tahoe.

The deputy responded to a restaurant where he found the suspect sitting with the juvenile. Rogers declined to speak to officers and was later arrested and booked into jail in Washington County on a weapons charge.

The deputy contacted Layton City investigators who said that Rogers was a suspect in an ongoing investigation involving a missing girl. Rogers allegedly intended to take the juvenile to Las Vegas to have sex with the underage victim.

Purgatory Correctional Facility’s Community Corrections Center, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 15, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Rogers was later charged with several offenses specific to what deputies found during the stop in Washington County, including one third-degree felony count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, based on the suspect having the firearm while also illegally possessing the THC and harboring a runaway. Officers also recovered a law enforcement badge during a search of the suspect’s vehicle.

As it turned out, Rogers was employed as a deputy with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office until 2012, when he resigned from the department. In December of that same year his law enforcement license was suspended by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy Council.

Washington County investigators then learned that detectives in Layton City were still investigating Rogers for further charges relating to the juvenile. On Feb. 8, Weber County filed multiple charges against the suspect, including rape, sodomy, aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and aggravated assault.

The charges filed against the defendant in Weber County were dismissed on Feb. 14, based upon a motion by the state. That case is still under investigation and amended charges may be forthcoming.

Outside the 5th Judicial District Courthouse, , St. George, Utah, July 25, 2023 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Meanwhile, in Washington County, Rogers remained in custody until Feb. 22, when he pleaded guilty to the weapons charge, while the harboring and THC charges were dismissed. He was released from jail following the plea hearing. Later that day, he was outfitted with an ankle monitor until his sentencing that was scheduled the following month.

On Feb. 23, the monitoring company received a device tamper alert indicating the device was possibly cut or removed and the GPS signal was lost after the device went dead.

The company was able to reach Rogers on Feb. 26,  who reportedly claimed the device would not charge and that he was headed to St. George so they could check the monitor. Rogers then advised that he was returning to Clearfield to try and charge the device again. He also allegedly took a photo of the monitor still on his ankle. 

File photo showing motorcycle traffic outside of Cambodia’s capital city, Phenom Pen, Cambodia, June 27, 2013 | Photo by Kat Dayton, St. George News

When the company confronted the defendant the following day after the ankle monitor went offline a second time, Rogers sent a text stating that he had left the United States and had flown to Cambodia — and sent a photo of his plane ticket.

He also advised the probation officer that he planned on living in the Philippines and would not be returning to the United States “to avoid prosecution and or incarceration,” the activation report states.

On Monday a warrant was issued by the Washington County Attorney’s Office and the defendant remains at large at this time.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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