Colorado Man Arrested for Vermont Kidnapping
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that on April 6, 2022, Jerry Banks, 34, of Fort Garland, Colorado was arrested following the filing of a criminal complaint that charges Banks with kidnapping Gregory Davis, a resident of Danville, Vermont, on January 6, 2018. Banks was taken into custody in Yellowstone National Park, where he was working. Banks appeared in United States District Court in Landers, Wyoming for a hearing yesterday. Banks will appear again in federal court in Wyoming next week before being ordered to appear in Vermont.
Following an exhaustive investigation by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Vermont State Police, law enforcement obtained a criminal complaint that charges Banks with being the kidnapper. According to the complaint affidavit, Banks arrived at Davis’s Danville residence on the evening of January 6, 2018, posing as a United States Marshal claiming to arrest Davis. Davis was found dead the next day in a snowbank on a Barnet, Vermont road several miles from the Davis residence. Although Banks is not charged with Davis’s murder, the complaint affidavit contains allegations that Banks murdered Davis.
According to the allegations in the complaint, Banks used two cell phones around the time of the kidnapping. One phone, which was purchased days before the kidnapping at a Walmart in Pennsylvania, was used to call 911 minutes before the kidnapping (the 911 Phone). Banks used another phone, purchased in November 2017 at a Missouri Walmart, for data transmission as he travelled from Missouri on January 4, 2018 to Vermont on January 6, 2018 to kidnap Davis (the Data Phone). Law enforcement determined that this Data Phone was the only device that connected to cell towers both in Pennsylvania when the 911 Phone was purchased and near Danville when Davis was kidnapped. The FBI obtained surveillance images from the Pennsylvania Walmart showing the face of the 911 Phone purchaser and the white Ford Explorer he was driving.
According to the complaint, law enforcement connected these two phones to Banks in multiple ways. For example, Banks was in possession of a white Ford Explorer around the time of the kidnapping. Law enforcement obtained data associated with another phone in Banks’ name that showed that he purchased and used the Data Phone described above. Further, records obtained by law enforcement reflect that Banks purchased various items used in the kidnapping, including a Marshals badge and Marshals patches, only days before the trip to Vermont to kidnap Davis.
The complaint charges Banks with kidnapping, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Any actual sentence will be determined with reference to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The criminal complaint lodged against Banks contains accusations only, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The prosecutors are Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Van de Graaf and Jonathan Ophardt. Counsel information for Banks is not yet available.
U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Vermont State Police in their collaborative investigation of Banks. Mr. Kerest also thanked the United States Park Service Criminal Investigation Office for its assistance in Banks’ arrest.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. https://www.justice.gov/psn