Updated 7 pm
Miquel A. Jones was arraigned Monday morning in Edgartown District Court on a charge of being an accessory after the fact in connection with Thursday’s armed bank robbery of the Rockland Trust in Vineyard Haven.
Jones, 30, is a former Jamaican pro soccer player, according to attorney Casey Dobel who represented him in the courtroom. Jones will be represented by attorney Matt Kelly.
Court records show Jones is a Jamaican national who lives in Edgartown. His job listed on court records is landscaper.
Bail was set at $300,000 by Judge Benjamin Barnes with a curfew and GPS if he makes bail.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16. Ahead of Judge Barnes’ determination,
Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael Giardino argued Jones was a flight risk.
Giardino told the court Jones faces “significant penalty on this case.” Giardino described Jones as “a Jamaican individual whose time here is scheduled to terminate in early March.”
Dobel told the court “people are looking for someone to blame” over the robbery. However, she said, “Mr. Jones is not that person.”
Dobel said the accusations made against Jones were circumstantial and also said Jones was nonviolent and not a danger to the community.
“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,” Dobel said. “He’s an incredibly involved father. He coaches youth soccer. He used to be a professional soccer player for Jamaica.”
Jones is also very involved in his church, Dobel said.
“He has absolutely zero criminal record — here, Jamaica, anywhere,” she said, and was “extremely motivated to fight what is at this time a very weak case against him.”
If bail was to be set, Dobel asked that it be no more than $1,000 to $2,000. She said GPS monitoring was OK as was a no contact order.
A narrative written by Trooper Dustin Shaw included with the arrest warrant for Jones indicates what led police to him.
The armed bank robbery occurred on Thursday, Nov. 17, at about 8:15 am, according to the report. “Investigators learned from the employees/victims that three individuals wearing all black dark clothing, armed with semi-automatic handguns forced their way into the bank and removed a sum of U.S. currency,” the report states. The bank employees “were bound by duct tape and plastic restraints,” the report states.
As The Times has previously reported, the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle stolen from one of the bank employees.
“Investigators determined through the use of surveillance video that the employee’s motor vehicle was abandoned in a parking lot at approximately 8:29 am,” the report states, “just minutes after the assailants departed the bank.”
At that secondary scene near the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, “duct tape and pieces of green shrub-like vegetation were found inside the abandoned [Nissan] Murano vehicle, stolen from the employee,” the report states. “Investigators also determined that almost immediately after the employee/victim’s vehicle was abandoned a dark blue Hyundai Elantra with a missing driver’s side rear tire hubcap left the parking lot where it was located. The 2007 Hyundai Elantra was determined to be ‘likely involved in the robbery’ through investigative measures including speaking to witnesses and observing surveillance footage from multiple sources.”
As The Times was first to report, a vehicle matching that description was seized Friday night near the Shell gas station on Beach Road on Vineyard Haven. “On Nov. 18, a motor vehicle stop was conducted on the suspect 2007 Hyundai Elantra with the missing driver’s side rear tire hubcap,” the report states. “Miquel Anthonio Jones, who was operating the vehicle, agreed to speak to the police. Jones admitted to being in possession of the 2007 Hyundai Elantra for five weeks and being in the parking lot where the employee’s vehicle was abandoned at approximately 8:20 am on the day of the robbery. Jones was evasive throughout the course of questioning. While speaking to Jones, investigators observed a green, vegetation-like substance, which appeared similar to the material located in the abandoned employee/victim’s vehicle, on his shoes.”
Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and allegedly found “three one-hundred dollar bills, two of which displayed sequential serial numbers,” the report states. “One hundred dollar bills were among the denominations 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 also indicates that the investigation is ongoing.
New details unfolded over the weekend
Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden told The Times Saturday afternoon that someone related to the Thursday morning Rockland Trust bank robbery was in custody. He said a press release from the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office would be issued that day. Tara Miltimore, a spokesperson for the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office, subsequently emailed the times a brief statement:
“There has been an arrest of one individual in connection with the robbery of the Rockland Trust bank. The investigation is ongoing and active.”
On Friday night, a sedan was seized by police on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven and someone was questioned. It is unclear if the person who was questioned Friday is the same person who was arrested Saturday, or if someone else was arrested.
In an email to The Times early Saturday evening, Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost wrote that he cannot release further information at this time because “to do so could jeopardize the integrity of the sensitive and active criminal investigation.”
Habekost indicated he conferred with all the Vineyard chiefs and they agree information needs to be withheld for now.
“The safety of the public is assured by all law enforcement officers on this case as well as our normal patrol and emergency response units,” Habekost wrote. “If anyone feels in immediate danger, please call 911 for an emergency response.”
Updated to include more information from today’s court proceeding.
Great job 👏 BLUE
While the police have been right on this and have done a great job (as usual), these robbers made it pretty easy.
I mean really, about 36 hours after the robbery, a vehicle with some distinctive characteristics that was seen by the abandoned stolen car is pulled over, searched and is still full of evidence.
It seems the robbers might have been reading some of the stupid comments here, and were convinced the Vineyard police were as incompetent as the Keystone cops.
No so, obviously.
Ditto to Edward’s comment.
I would like to say that one reaction I had is that you can, in a domestic violence case, beat a woman up to within an inch of her life and endanger families, and you will get arrested and be set right back out onto Main St. in Edgartown with a bail of at the very most 5-10,000 dollars, not speak of child pornographers, like the case of the OB man several years. Be accused of being an accomplice, after the fact, to a robbery for, yup, $$$, and it’s gonna take 300K to go home. The justice system on this island is broken. The judges who come from the Cape don’t understand.
It is also worth asking how much or little the bail may have been if the accused was 1.) white and 2.) a “local” with family roots, etc.
Now, all this said for people to chew on, it’s a rotten crime to be an accomplice if true, and the law should be applied fairly.
Are you a proponent of punishing people who have not been convicted of a crime?
There are less than three degrees of separation of the Island from the Cape, particularly the Outer Cape.
‘Islanders like to think “we” are so special, we are not.
Tom– you nailed it. A black “migrant” has been accused of being an “accessory after the fact” and has bail set at $300,000 because he was “allegedly” involved in robbing a bank.
I have been watching the stories on this paper for a long time, and have never seen bail so high. Rapist, drug dealers, smugglers, people accused of attempted murder, all out on less than $30,000 bail. I could be wrong, but I can’t think of a single case that has had bail set at 10% of this case.
And let me remind all of the conservatives about the definition of the word “hypocrisy”. You have been defending the radical insurrectionist who nearly beat police officers to death based on the concept that they are innocent until proven guilty.
I don’t have to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there.
There is racism under every bed with some of you folks. The Police have probable cause based upon what they found. No, he has not gone to trial but to assume he is innocent after reading these facts is dumb. One poster here always lauds the ”facts” issue versus opinion. When you find two one hundred bills with sequential serial numbers do you assume one is innocent.? Craziness. He is not a migrant–he comes here every year for 5 months for the last 6 years. If I go to Europe every year I am not a migrant.
andy– if you walk into a bank and withdraw a thousand dollars, the bills will often be in sequential order. That in itself is not unusual.
You yourself and other right wing election deniers have lamented the fact that many of the Jan 6 insurrectionist have been denied bail or had bail set at high levels, despite clear video evidence of them trying to murder police officers.
How about the right wing poster boy, Kyle Rittenhouse, who illegally obtained and carried a firearm across a state line. He then murdered one person in cold blood, murdered another and wounded one more as they courageously tried to disarm him.
A fund was set up to raise bail for him, and Mike Lindell ( the pillow guy) was a major contributor.
Did you contribute to that fund, andy ?
What would the right wingers think if the Reverend Al sharpton bailed this guy out tomorrow ?
By your definition that you have stated many times here, he is innocent.
And racism may not under EVERY bed, but it sure is running rampant on the streets of America.
There is no way bail would be that high for a white guy.
You know the Judge who set the bail is black, right?
Rittenhouse defended himself and was acquitted by a Jury. Your head is in the sand on that one and on the bank robbery. I have never been an innocent before guilty advocate. Most people arrested are guilty. So you are wrong again. As for Jan 6, I have not commented but ”some people did something”. You need to get off the island, the virus is working.
With all due respect, Rittenhouse did not obtain his weapon illegally. The derelicts that you refer to as courageous were anything but model citizens. If I remember correctly, the man who was shot and killed was a convicted child rapist. If you would just set aside your hatred for anyone with a different political ideology than your own once in awhile, it would be refreshing.
Don: Good thing Kyle Rittenhouse had a jury that actually weighed the actual evidence.
john– Good thing for OJ Simpson as well as Roy Bryant and John W. Milam.
Yup, if the jury says so, your innocent .
And since when did the laws of this country give the right of an active shooter to kill anyone who was trying to stop him ?
I was verified that Kyle did not transport the weapon over a state line. The gun was at his father’s home. Look it up.
Gene– I stand corrected . Thank you for pointing my misinformation out.
I just looked at five 100 dollar bills in my posession.
3 of them are in sequence.
ATM’s disburse $20 bills in sequential order most of the time– there were likely some $20 bills stolen at the bank also.
It’s crazy to assume guilt on that basis.
Yes, there is evidence, but having 2 bills in sequential order is not evidence. It’s ridiculous for the police to even mention that.
Some of you people think there is no racism.
And some people think there is racism in incidents where there is no racism.
Bail is determined mostly by the likelihood of the accused fleeing not the severity of the crime. At the risk of drawing the ire of roughly half of the readers, I’d say a citizen of another country willing to participate in armed robbery and kidnapping is damn likely to boogie out of here at the earliest opportunity. I would!
When you are out on bail on a federal charge, they confiscate your passport.
And as #45 enlightened us a few years ago, Just like Puerto Rico, Jamaica “is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water,”
He’s not going to swim home.
How many of the individuals charged with trespassing are still sitting in jail awaiting trial or were held without bail until their trial? I don’t recall you calling for their release until they were convicted. Who is the hypocrite?
Joe– I haven’t called for anyone’s release. It is not hypocritical to point out hypocrisy.
For the most part the the Trump acolytes who did not cause bodily harm to Police Officers got bail, except those with prior convictions.
No one has been jailed for simple trespass.
Many have pled down to it?
From the videos that you have seen how many of the J6ers should have been given bail?
How many if they had been successful at hanging Mike Pense?
Dragging Nancy Pelose around by her heels with her dress over her head?
On the bright side it looks like 600+ of Trump’s Thugs will be provided with Federal accomodations or at least an ankle bracelet
Let me guess, he’s a migrant,, RIGHT?
If you actually read the article, you’d know the answer to that question.
Kathleen– he went through all the processes to come here legally. Just like the conservatives want– RIGHT ?
I find your comment offensive. Unless you’re Wampanoag you and the rest of us come from someone who was a migrant at some point in time.
Even the Wampanoags aren’t 100% native
No, he’s an armed robber and kidnapper.
Scott- He’s been arrested on a charge of “being an accessory after the fact”.
No where has it been stated that he has ever been armed– no weapon was found in his car, he was not in the bank and did not kidnap anyone.
Stick to the facts please. This is not the fox “news” site.
At least none of the right wing nutcases here are saying he’s a “Dem”.
I’m thankful for that.
You aren’t sticking to the facts either. You’re making declarative statements about things you can’t possibly know. There is no way to know if he was one of the robbers in the bank or not. Charges can be upgraded. None of us know, best to wait instead of speculating.
R scott- I am not making any “declarative statements” . Quite the contrary, actually. Scott Terry declared — let me repeat that– Scott Terry unequivocally stated that the alleged suspect was an “armed robber and a kidnaper”. He has no way to know. But you criticize me for stating what is currently known ? Give me a break–
If you want to criticize someone for posting unknown and unverifiable claptrap here, please reply to Scott Terry–
I just commented on the information that has been released by the police and media outlets.
I would think that if the police found a weapon in that vehicle it would have been reported.
Yeah– tell Scott Terry to wait instead of speculating.
At least I am just commenting on information that has been released to the public.
Don, it was simply a response to the person who wrote he must have been a “migrant”. I was pointing out that it really made no difference who he was, just what he stands accused of. It’s odd to me that it is so hard to understand that if you drive the getaway car in a bank robbery where guns were used, you are guilty of armed robbery.
Katie– I also agree– about the complicity statement. However there is no indication that Jones was armed at any time.
And if we are going to talk about anyone who is “complicite” about a crime is guilty of the crime, we should start rounding up half of the republican senators and representatives in Washington.
Of course, but you understand that complicity in armed robbery and kidnapping makes a person just as guilty as any of the people who walked into the bank. I have never watched Fox News, but if I did, I would still be your fellow American, my views would be as valid as yours, and my vote would carry the same weight.
Mr Terry, on this site your views are not just as valid as anyone elses. They need to align with looney liberals or you are vilified.
“…complicity in armed robbery and kidnapping makes a person just as guilty as any of the people who walked into the bank.”
$300,000🤔 for just being in a car! You said yourselves he wasn’t even at the robbery scene, after the fact, bullshit you guys are just looking a scapegoat $300,000 for what?.
Where’s the social justice when two white men get $30k and $100k bail for violent offenses and a black man gets $300k bail for simply being a non-violent accessory?
Boston Globe 11/22:
A nationally known skills trainer for NBA players pleaded not guilty to rape and drugging charges in a Boston courtroom Tuesday morning.
Robert McClanaghan, 43, was arrested Friday in Rhode Island on charges of rape and drugging for intercourse related to a Nov. 3 incident in downtown Boston.
After a brief hearing in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday, McClanaghan was released on $30,000 bond. He must wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, surrender his passport, and remain in Rhode Island, where he lives, pending the outcome of the case, except for meeting with his lawyer and to attend court dates in Boston. He was also ordered to stay away from the victim.
Boston Globe 11/22:
Man ordered held on $100,000 bail after arraignment on charges in fatal Apple Store crash in Hingham.
Is this systemic racial bias??
You know the judge who set the bail is African-American, right?
Hold on … I may be incorrect here so apologies in advance… but I believe an accused individual must come up with 10% of the bail for release. The 30k bond posted would be 10% of a 300k bail.
Also – wonder if the bail figure is seen as a coercive tool to “spill” on the accomplices ?
HATE that this always goes to “racism”…
This doesn’t even feel like America anymore 🙁
Robbing a bank is a federal crime which causes higher bail.
Just a quick reply to Joseph, as he points out that the judge from the Cape is black. No I did not know that, first. I am honest and accept that I did not know that, that’s clear. Now, taken into account he is black, what are my thoughts? First, my question to race was hypothetical — I do not believe racism lurks everywhere and am not into the woke stereotype of the version of what they call white supremacy that appears everywhere in America. So, that’s where aim coming from, philosophically, with race. That said, I’m curious, anyway. Who knows why the bail is set so high? Thank you for pointing out a fact, the reasons could be varied, although for such a high bail, to speculate, the judge may have seen it to be important to come down hard on a high profile case. Domestic violence happens a lot more frequently than armed robbery, and this clown wasn’t accused of the armed robbery. He’s presumed innocent, and if guilty, the law should be applied fairly, meaning that it should result in the appropriate sentence. I believe in that, for sure. That’s the law. It’s law and it’s order.
The Boston Globe had a much more in depth story on this robbery. I would have thought our newspapers would dominate Island news.
Mark– it would be nice if you would provide the link to this story by the globe that you cite.
I can’t find it== please post a link..
Mark –thank you–
The Boston Globe is more than 100 times larger than the MVT.
They can afford to drop 50k on this story.
They are a 7/24 operation.
They have lots of very well placed contacts.
Nov 21 Globe article. Entitled “ Seasonal landscaper charged in connection to Martha’s Vineyard bank robbery”
Bummer, no updates about this robbery except that a non American landscaper seems to be part of the gang and he got a high bail.
Maybe more information to the public could help solve this……
Three people is gang?
We need more buzz words.
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