Trial begins for man accused of robbing Santa Rosa armored car depot

SAN FRANCISCO — A reward-seeking informant, eye-popping surveillance gadgetry and a bit of police theater helped detectives nab a Santa Rosa man accused of robbing an armored car company of more than $900,000 and plotting a second unsuccessful heist a year later.

That's what emerged Wednesday in the federal trial of Monico Dominguez, 41, who is charged with masterminding the two capers against Garda Cash Logistics on Northpoint Parkway in southwest Santa Rosa.

Dominguez faces life in prison if convicted of the brazen 2011 robbery in which he and other masked men are accused of storming the nondescript warehouse with assault rifles and overpowering employees.

Prosecutors allege he attempted to launder the stolen cash through a series of bank deposits and by making large cash purchases, such as a Harley-Davidson and a classic car, before scheming to hit Garda again the next summer.

The plan was to drive off with an armored car loaded with even more money, prosecutors said. But the theft was foiled before it could happen with the help of a would-be accomplice who reported Dominguez to FBI agents and Santa Rosa police.

Det. Brian Boettger testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court that Kevin Jensen of Sacramento provided the break in the case against the man he met years before in juvenile hall in the hope of getting a $100,000 reward from Garda.

"It was strictly financial," Boettger said of Jensen's motivation.

Boettger said during the week leading up to the planned Aug. 6, 2012 heist, Jensen was given a GPS-equipped rental car, a room at the Flamingo Hotel and coaching from detectives on how to set up Dominguez.

He agreed to wear hidden audio and video recording devices, including a micro-camera in the button eye of a baseball jersey, as he participated in planning with Dominguez and a nephew, Juan M. Dominguez Jr.

A second tiny camera was hidden in a coffee cup in his car's center console, Boettger said.

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