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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Friday, February 16, 2018

Five Cincinnati Individuals Plead Guilty to Roles in Armed Bank Robberies

One Defendant Engaged in Gunfight with Off-Duty Police Officer during Robbery

CINCINNATI – Five individuals pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for their roles in three armed bank robberies in the Cincinnati area in May and June 2017.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac announced the pleas.

Malcolm Lorenzo Jones, 21, pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to statements of facts, Malcolm Lorenzo Jones brandished a black revolver while ordering bank employees and customers to the ground at the Key Bank on Springdale Road in Cincinnati on May 22, 2017. Jones then went to the front door and opened it for co-defendant Nelson Jones, 26 to enter.

When Nelson Jones entered the bank, an off-duty police officer entered immediately behind him. The off-duty officer pulled his firearm and demanded that both defendants get on the ground, but as Malcolm Lorenzo Jones moved to the ground, he raised his firearm and fired a shot at the officer. A gunfight ensued, and Malcolm Lorenzo Jones jumped over the bank counter in an attempt to dodge the shots from the officer while exchanging return fire.

Malcolm Jones was struck with at least one bullet, yet both defendants managed to flee the bank on foot, stealing approximately $3,480.

Nelson Jones also brandished a firearm while robbing North Side Bank and Trust on St. Gregory St. in Cincinnati on May 13, 2017. Co-defendant Hope Tolbert, 21, assisted in the robbery by collecting nearly $6,000 from the bank’s cash drawers.

Nelson Jones pleaded guilty to two counts related to the using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Tolbert pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery.

On June 20, 2017, Nelson Jones and Marquez Peterson, 22, – who was armed with a pistol – robbed the Wes Banco Bank on Vine Street in Cincinnati. Joy Favors, 23, rode in the car with Jones and Peterson to the bank. Favors exited the car and went inside to case the bank minutes before the robbery.  Favors returned to the car and informed Jones and Peterson of what to expect upon entering the bank. Nearly $10,700 was stolen. Peterson pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Favors also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to use a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Armed bank robbery is a federal crime punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Conspiracy to use a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence is a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence carries a potential sentence of 10 years to life in prison, to be served consecutive to any other sentence. If charged with a second subsequent count of this crime, a defendant faces a sentence range of 25 years to life in prison to be imposed consecutive to all other sentences imposed.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of these cases by the FBI and Cincinnati Police Department, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Springer who is prosecuting the case.

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Violent Crime
Updated February 16, 2018