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Press Release

West Michigan Jury Convicts Chicago-Based Bank Robber, Dominick T. Johnson, Of Participating In Three Kalamazoo-Area Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced that Dominick T. Johnson, 33, of Chicago, Illinois, has been convicted by a federal jury of seven crimes: conspiracy to commit bank robbery, three counts of armed bank robbery, and three counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The Honorable Gordon J. Quist presided over the two-week trial. Under existing law, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum of 67 years in federal prison when he is sentenced.

          According to the proofs at trial, Johnson planned and served as the get-away driver for three completed bank robberies in and around Kalamazoo: the May 29, 2014, robbery of PNC Bank in Galesburg, the July 29, 2014, robbery of Comerica Bank in Comstock Township, and the January 8, 2015, robbery of Old National Bank in Oshtemo Township. Johnson’s half-brother, Nathan Benson, previously pled guilty for his role in the robberies. In all three robberies, Benson brandished a loaded firearm and pointed it at bank employees. In two of the robberies, Benson forced the employees into the bank’s vault. The conspiracy also involved three planned bank robberies that were unsuccessful; two were disrupted by law enforcement and one was prevented by a traffic accident.

          U.S. Attorney Miles praised law enforcement’s thorough investigation and commitment to solving and preventing the consummated and planned robberies. "Going into a bank or any business with a loaded weapon to steal money creates extraordinary risk and can have a lasting effect on the victims even when no one is hurt," said U.S. Attorney Miles. "The planner and organizer of these kinds of robberies—who emboldens and encourages his criminal associates—is just as dangerous, sometimes even more so, as the person he persuades to enter the bank."

          "It goes without saying that this level of threat and violence cannot, and will not, be tolerated in our communities," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division. "Seeing that Mr. Johnson and his co-conspirator are off the streets raises the level of safety of our community, both for our citizens and our businesses."

          The investigation was led by the FBI and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office. Other assisting agencies were the Michigan State Police, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the Baroda-Lake Township Police Department, the Galesburg Police Department, and the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office.

          Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin M. Presant and Hagen W. Frank prosecuted the case.


Updated February 4, 2016