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By Liz Miller
Observer Staff Writer 

"Cowboy Bandits" Convicted, Face Up To 107 Years Behind Bars

The Two Men Committed a String of Robberies in 2013

 

Two Los Angeles men were convicted Tuesday of carrying out a string of mostly small-scale robberies across Los Angeles in 2013.

Dominic Dorsey, 48, of Hollywood, and Reginald Bailey, 71, of Jefferson Park, were convicted by a downtown federal jury of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce in violation of the federal Hobbs Act, and five specific Hobbs Act robberies and five counts of using a firearm during the robberies.

They were nicknamed the "Cowboy Bandits" because one of the men brandished a long-barreled Colt six-shooter.

The pair each face a mandatory 107 years behind bars for the weapons charges alone when they are sentenced Nov. 14 by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder.

The first robbery occurred on Sept. 24, 2013 at a Shell gas station in Woodland Hills. The men then robbed gas stations in Newhall, Woodland Hills and Encino in October, before robbing a Citibank in Glendale on Nov. 5, FBI officials said in a news release.

The men got away with $55,000 during the bank robbery.

They wore mostly black clothing with bandanas to hide their faces and never left anything that would trace authorities back to them.

Investigators reviewing surveillance videos noticed that one of the robbers was missing part of his ring finger on his left hand, leading them to Bailey, who only has four fingers on his left hand.

In a video from the Encino gas station robbery, Dorsey's face and distinctive sneakers can be seen as he bought and pumped gas, before he returning later to rob the place wearing the same shoes and driving the same car.

U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker described the robberies as "brazen" and said Dorsey and Bailey "terrorized employees."

A search of the men's homes and cars didn't turn up the gun used in the crimes, believed to be an 1873 Colt revolver.

Evidence presented at the trial showed the men's cellphones were within miles of each of the robbery locations before and after each of the crimes, but the phones were turned off during each robbery, leaving a hole in their whereabouts.

They were nicknamed the "Cowboy Bandits" because one of the men brandished a long-barreled Colt six-shooter, like the one in this photo. Not a modern or typical weapon for a robber. The pair each face a mandatory 107 years behind bars for the weapons charges alone.

Less than three weeks after the Citibank holdup, Dorsey put down a $9,000 cash deposit on a new Mercedes Benz. He listed Bailey as his uncle and his emergency contact.

Though only charged for five robberies, authorities estimate they actually committed more than 30 crimes from Los Angeles to Fresno. Aside from the bank robbery, they rarely made off with more than a few hundred dollars.

Each of the six Hobbs Act violations carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The gun violations carry potential life sentences, but also would bring mandatory minimum sentences of seven years for the first count and 25 years for each of the four additional counts.

"They were planning on moving up from liquor stores to a bank," Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Axelrad told a jury in a downtown federal courtroom last week. "They were good, but they did make mistakes, and that's how they got caught."

 

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