A Santa Rosa man was convicted in federal court in San Francisco today of robbing an armored car warehouse in Santa Rosa in 2011 and plotting an unsuccessful similar robbery a year later.
Monico Dominguez, 41, was found guilty by a jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of a total of 10 of the 11 counts lodged against him in a grand jury indictment.
The convictions included robbing an armored car at the Garda Cash Logistics warehouse on Aug. 11, 2011, attempting to rob another Garda armored car on Aug. 6, 2012, and conspiring in both events.
Prosecutors said Dominguez and an accomplice stole $909,000 in the 2011 robbery by ducking under the garage door of the warehouse as it was closing, holding up two guards with an assault rifle and a pistol, tying them up with zip ties, and taking the cash from a vault.
In the second robbery, Dominguez planned to hijack another armored car as it entered the warehouse and take the vehicle to the garage of a Santa Rosa cabinet shop, where he could unload the $9 million he expected it to be carrying, according to prosecutors.
The second robbery was foiled after a friend invited by Dominguez to become an accomplice agreed to wear a wire and become a government informant in hopes of obtaining a $100,000 reward posted by Garda for the 2011 heist.
During closing arguments in the trial on Friday, defense attorney Jai Gohal conceded to the jury that Dominguez had been caught “red-handed” in the 2012 plot as result of the surveillance evidence provided by the informant, Kevin Jensen.
But Gohal maintained there was insufficient evidence to prove that Dominguez was the masked robber in the 2011 crime.
Prosecutors contended ample evidence was provided by the testimony from Jensen, Dominguez’s ex-girlfriend and Dominguez’s accomplice in the 2011 robbery as well as phone records and a record of large cash bank deposits.
In addition to the robbery, attempted robbery and conspiracy charges, Dominguez was found guilty of two counts of gun use, three counts of money laundering of some of the 2011 proceeds and one count of structuring cash deposits to evade detection.
The jury acquitted him of an obstruction-of-justice charge in which he was accused of asking a fellow jail inmate in September 2012 to take some money to bribe Jensen not to testify against him.
Dominguez will be sentenced by Chen on May 14. The charges each carry maximum sentences of five to 20 years in prison.
Dominguez’ nephew, Juan Dominguez, whose planned role was to open the gate of the cabinet shop in the unsuccessful 2012 robbery, pleaded guilty to conspiracy last year and was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.
Cabinet shop owner Shawn Geernaert, who testified against Dominguez in the trial, was also charged with conspiracy and attempted robbery in the 2012 plot. He was scheduled to enter a change of plea before Chen on Aug. 28, but the outcome of that hearing is currently sealed.
One other defendant, former Garda employee Juan Partida, is awaiting a not-yet-scheduled separate trial on charges of conspiracy, robbery, gun possession and false statements in connection with the 2011 robbery.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News