A Boston man arrested for holding up a TD Bank branch in Harvard Square in April was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of bank robbery, which could mean a 20-year prison sentence if he's convicted.
Jamal Copeland, 49, was already listed as an armed career criminal because of a criminal record that included a 15-year-sentence for taking part in a 2004 Dorchester kidnapping and robbery that ended with his crime pal shooting at a Boston cop. He'd only been back on the street since his release from state prison in December, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the bank-robbery case.
According to the affidavit, Copeland walked into the TD branch at 1270 Massachusetts Ave., around 1:45 p.m. on April 27 and, faking a Spanish accent, asked a teller about opening up an account. A second teller, a native Spanish speaker, then tried to talk to him in Spanish, but quickly realized he was speaking in broken Spanish and could not seem to answer any of her questions, except to say he wanted to open an account.
At that point, the affidavit continues, Copeland gave up the charade, turned back to the first teller and gave her a note demanding money:
The demand note stated "Give up all Hundreds! AN 50's Robbery!" The [man] then began to yell at [the teller] stating "give me the money" and "fifties and hundreds." [The teller] then handed the [man] $500.00 in U.S. currency and $80.00 in U.S. currency which included a GPS tracker.
He then barked at the second teller to give him money, she handed him another $875 and he ran out and the tellers called 911.
Responding Cambridge Police and FBI Bank Robbery Task Force officers found the tracker next to the bank, on Plympton Street, along with pieces of a $20 bill. Cambridge Police crime-scene investigators were able to lift a print from the demand note, ran it through a database and it came back identifying its maker as Copeland, the affidavit states.
Based on this evidence and evidence from witnesses looking at photos of possible suspects, the FBI went into federal court on May 5 seeking a criminal complaint against Copeland. He was arrested May 23, according to court records.