BOSTON – A third individual has been charged and arrested in connection with an armed bank robbery on Martha’s Vineyard on Nov. 17.
Romane Andre Clayton, 21, of Jamaica, was arrested on Dec. 9 in Connecticut and charged on Dec. 12 with one count of being an accessory after the fact to armed bank robbery, according to the US Department of Justice.
Clayton will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
The charge of being an accessory after the fact provides for a sentence of up to 150 months in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
Two others already charged in state and federal court
Two co-defendants, Miquel A. Jones, 39 and Omar Odion Johnson, 30, were previously charged on Dec. 1 by the US Attorney’s Office in Boston. They remain in state custody, according to the Department of Justice. Both have pleaded not guilty in state court to armed robbery and conspiracy, on Thursday, Nov. 17, around 8:15 am, the: Rockland Trust bank in Vineyard Haven was robbed at gunpoint by three people, police said. According to the police, robbers wearing dark clothing and masks that looked like an elderly man with exaggerated facial features entered through the back of the bank and were armed with semi-automatic weapons. They forced a teller to open a vault at gunpoint, stealing $39,100. They also tied up employees with plastic ties and duct tape.
Johnson’s bail was set at $300,000 with the condition that he must wear a GPS tracking device and, if released, stay away from the bank, according to the clerk’s office. For Jones, bail was also set at $300,000, and he must wear a GPS tracking device, stay away from the bank, and maintain an 8 am to 8 pm curfew if released, according to the clerk’s office.
F.B.I. Clayton appears on Steamship Authority video surveillance
According to an affidavit by Daniel P. Conlon, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, surveillance video obtained from the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority ferry terminal in Vineyard Haven, shows Clayton arriving Nov. 17 at a parking lot near the ferry terminal in a silver sedan. After purchasing ferry tickets, Clayton is seen boarding a ferry at 9:21 am
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About 30 minutes later, Johnson is seen on video arriving at the same parking lot and getting into the driver’s seat of the silver sedan Clayton previously parked, according to the affidavit. Johnson is later seen on the video driving the silver sedan to the vehicle reservation clerk booth, purchasing a vehicle ferry ticket and boarding a freight ferry in the silver sedan at 12:24 pm, according to the affidavit.
Clayton was present during Johnson’s arrest in Connecticut, police say
On Friday, Nov. 25, at about 8:20 pm, Johnson was arrested on a state warrant in New Haven, Connecticut. At the time of the arrest, Clayton was present in the vehicle, according to Conlon’s affidavit.
Clayton was not arrested and was told he was free to leave. At that time, Clayton agreed to speak with law enforcement at the New Haven Police station. At the station, Clayton gave conflicting accounts of his whereabouts during the time of the bank robbery, and denied any involvement in the robbery of the Rockland Trust bank, according to the affidavit.
Analysis of phone records indicate Clayton’s proximity to Martha’s Vineyard days before the robbery, according to the FBI
During the interview, according to Conlon, phone records revealed that a phone device associated with Clayton was used on Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth, and surrounding areas between Oct. 13 and Nov. 16.
On Nov. 16, Clayton exchanged five phone calls with Jones’ phone number throughout the day. All calls occurred through the cell site located at 90 Alpine Avenue, Oaks Bluffs, according to the affidavit.
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Data also indicates that on Nov. 17, the first call in Clayton’s cell phone records show an outbound call at 9:58 am through a cell site on Dump Road, which is approximately 400 yards west of the crime scene, the affidavit states.
About 26 minutes after that call, Clayton’s cell phone received a call from Johnson’s cell phone number, which lasted 18 seconds, using a cell site in Woods Hole, according to the affidavit. The ferry from Martha’s Vineyard docks at Woods Hole.
Cell phone data showed that two defendants traveled to a Tisbury farm, according to the FBI
Conlon said cell phone data collected from Johnson and Jones’ phones demonstrates that after the robbery, Jones and Johnson traveled to a Tisbury farm, where law enforcement discovered burned clothing and equipment, in addition to two buried handguns. According to the affidavit document, Jones worked for a landscaping company that used the farm.
Cellphone data also revealed that Jones’ phone was close to the bank the night before the robbery.
Based on the surveillance video, and cell phone analysis, Conlon said in the affidavit there is probable cause to believe that Clayton knew that Johnson and Jones committed the armed bank robbery, and subsequently received, relieved, comforted or assisted Jones and Johnson in order to hinder and prevent their apprehension, trial, or punishment for the crime of armed bank robbery.
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