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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Chicago Man Sentenced To More Than 72 Years For Multiple Armed Bank Robberies

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced today that Dominick T. Johnson, 34, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 72 years and eight months in prison by U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist. Johnson was convicted by a jury in January of seven crimes—including conspiracy, bank robbery, and firearms charges—after a two-week 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 thwarted by a traffic accident. One significant piece of evidence that led to the conviction of Johnson was the recovery of DNA evidence from a partially eaten hamburger recovered from the bank robbers’ path of flight from the Old National Bank robbery. Johnson also listened to two of the robberies via cell phone calls to Benson, while Johnson’s cell phone was registering with towers near the banks. Benson was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment in March.
“The Court’s sentence is an unambiguous message: violent crime will not be tolerated in Western Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Miles. “The defendant placed the lives of bank employees and customers in extraordinary danger by orchestrating these robberies, and now he will face the consequences of his decisions.”

          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 July 21, 2016