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Dougherty Gang: Here's why you need to be on the lookout

August 9, 2011 |  4:45 pm

The Dougherty Gang's tale reads like part of a Carl Hiaasen novel, and it's just getting started: Sooner or later, they’re going to get caught. The question is whether they'll be caught dead or alive.

The Florida siblings have been on the lam since Aug. 2, after they allegedly shot out the tires on a Zephyrhills police patrol car that tried to stop them for speeding. Police say the trio robbed a bank in Georgia a few hours later.

Law enforcement officials are turning to the public for assistance because they have no idea what the Dougherty Gang is likely to do next, especially as law enforcement closes in. One of the men reportedly text-messaged their mother: "At some point we all have to die."

The Pasco Sheriff's Office has identified the three as Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, a sex offender; his sister Lee Grace E. Dougherty, 29, an exotic dancer; and half-brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26.

Law enforcement officials released a video today that allegedly documents the trio during a brush with a Florida police officer that ended with gunfire. Officials released the video as part of the effort to nab the three, who they say could be anywhere.

"They were trying to hurt this officer, if not kill him," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a press conference.

One thing is certain, police said: The Dougherty Gang is armed and dangerous. 

"We know that Ryan several years ago purchased an AK-47 at a pawn shop," Nocco later said in an interview with local media. "We know his brother, Dylan, also purchased several high-caliber rifles and handguns. ... We were also informed by family members that they do have a large arsenal and when we searched the house, there were no weapons or any ammunition left, so we know they took them with them."

The trio apparently used to live in a self-constructed underground bunker made out of shipping containers in Pasco County.

Their mother, Barbara Bell, has publicly pleaded for her children to stop running and turn themselves over to police. She expressed hope that Dylan will be the one to make his half-siblings surrender.

Dylan has been arrested on a marijuana charge, but his rap sheet is topped by his younger brother’s. Ryan has 14 felony arrests on his record, and helped trigger the manhunt when he reportedly cut off his court-ordered ankle monitoring device. He’d been wearing the device after being convicted of sending explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl.

Authorities urge anyone who spots the trio to stay away and call 911. Here's hoping it all ends peacefully.

[Read more: Fugitive siblings may be in Colorado]


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Photo: Ryan Dougherty, Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dougherty Stanley. Credit: FBI