A Jamaican, who once played football for Rusea’s High School in Hanover, was arraigned on Monday in connection with last week’s armed robbery of Rockland Trust Bank in Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard in the US.
He is 30-year-old Miguel A Jones, who is now employed as a seasonal landscaper in the US, and resides in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Jones was charged with being an accessory after the fact relative to last Thursday’s bank robbery.
A report in the Martha’s Vineyard Times said Jones pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail for US$300,000 by Judge Benjamin Barnes.
A curfew order was also attached to the bail offer.
Ahead of bail being granted, Cape and Islands Assitant District Attorney Michael Giardino maintained that Jones was a flight risk, describing him as “a Jamaican individual whose time here is scheduled to terminate in early March.”
But the Jamaican’s attorney, Casey Dobel, contended that her client had “absolutely zero criminal record–here, Jamaica, anywhere,” the report quoted her as saying in court.
Continuing, she said: “Mr Jones has been coming here every single year since 2016 for at least five months to raise money to support his three children who he does take care of back home in Jamaica.
“He’s an incredibly involved father. He coaches youth soccer. He used to be a professional soccer player for Jamaica,” the attorney said.
Turning to the charges against her client, Dobel said “people” were looking for someone to blame for the robbery.
She insisted that Jones was not that person, adding that he was “extremely motivated to fight” the very “weak” case against him.
According to allegations, on November 17 at about 8:15am, three men wearing all black dark clothing, armed with semi-automatic handguns, forced their way into the bank and removed a sum of US currency.
The bank employees “were bound by duct tape and plastic restraints”, the report stated.
The men then allegedly stole one of the employees’ vehicles, a Nissan Murano, which they later abandoned in a parking lot about 8:29am last Thursday. The hoodlums boarded another vehicle that investigators allege was being driven by Jones.
During the preliminary stages of the probe, lawmen tracked down Jones. Inside his car, they found three one hundred dollar bills, two of which reportedly displayed sequential serial numbers to the ones stolen during the robbery.
“Also found were one pair of white Nike sneakers and dark clothing, which are consistent with surveillance videos and witness statements,” the report stated.
While questioning Jones, law enforcers “observed a green, vegetation-like substance, which appeared similar to the material located in the abandoned employee/victim’s vehicle, on his shoes”, the report added.
Due to Jones reportedly being evasive during the questioning by the police, he was only charged with accessory after the fact.
He is to return to the Egartown District Court on December 16 for a probable cause hearing.