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Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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FBI says he robbed the Hard Rock, without a little help from his friends

TAMPA — The poker room gunman got what he demanded that February day at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

"I don’t want to cause a scene. I want hundreds," he said, before the cashier turned over $20,000.

Yet his fortune fell apart like a craps roll gone cold, judging from a new federal complaint that charges 24-year-old Dirk Davis with brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence.

On the run, looking for a ride, Davis called and texted a friend more than 30 times, until the man blocked his number, the record showed.

Three people who knew Davis saw casino surveillance video on TV and called to turn him in.

Next, three family members identified him as the robber after viewing still photographs from the video.

"She knows Davis to be a liar," FBI agent Steven Thames wrote in the March 15 complaint.

That was after interviewing Davis’ mother. She recalled picking up her son at a motel on Feb. 3, the day after the robbery, and seeing $100 bills in his possession. He said the money came from an income tax refund, according to the complaint.

The casino cashier would have a hard time picking Davis out of a lineup. The robber had worn stickers over his sunglasses and latex gloves.

But Davis’ sister said she bought him the black and gray sweatshirt seen in the surveillance video, the FBI agent wrote.

And a friend said Davis was wearing that same sweatshirt the week of the robbery.

When Davis tried to visit another acquaintance at work two days after the robbery, he was told "it would not be in his best interest to do that because everyone knew Davis was the person who robbed the Seminole casino," the agent wrote.

Davis was suddenly paying off his debts with $100 bills and had paid one friend double what he owed, the agent wrote.

Davis also deleted everything from his Facebook account.

And left town.

Officers from the Seminole Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service tracked him to Jacksonville and then to Georgia.

A state charge would follow, and then the federal one.

"I know why you’re here," he said, according to the record, "and I want a lawyer."

Contact Patty Ryan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3382. Follow @TampaPatty.

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