WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Andre Jones, 24, of 506 Locust Street, Mount Vernon, New York was sentenced today to twenty years in prison on his September 2014 conviction after trial to one count of Kidnapping in the Second Degree, a class “B” Felony, two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, class “B” Felonies, and two counts of Robbery in the Second Degree, class “C” Felonies relating to the kidnapping and robbery of Ricardo Panton.
“Being abducted, held captive and driven around all night, while trying to access money from numerous ATMs, all with a gun pointed at one’s head, is the definition of a nightmare. The victim’s presence of mind and common sense actions not only saved his life, but also aided Mount Vernon detectives in identifying the defendant, thereby leading to his arrest and conviction,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
On April 9, 2013, shortly after midnight the victim drove two friends to a market on W. 1st Street, in Mount Vernon New York. He parked the car in front of the store and remained in the car while his friends went inside the store.
As he waited, the victim was approached by two males, one of whom was later identified by the victim as Andre Jones and the other an unapprehended male.
The defendant, acting in concert with the unapprehended male, displayed what appeared to be a firearm and pointed it at the victim. He then got into the front passenger seat and the other male got into the back. The defendant told the victim, in sum and substance, that he, the victim, must have money, since he drove a Lexus.
They ordered the victim, at gunpoint, to go to various JP Morgan Chase Bank ATMs and take out money out. The victim, upon the orders of the defendant and the unapprehended male, drove to the various locations throughout Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.
Although he had just been paid, the funds would not clear until the morning. At that point, the defendant, acting in concert with the unapprehended individual, tied up the victim and put him in the trunk of the car. They drove around with him for a period of time, and finally took him out, only to renew their orders for him to withdraw money from the ATMs.
The victim was finally able to access the funds and gave the defendants approximately $1,000.00. After approximately 8 hours of being held prisoner and repeatedly threatened, the defendant let the victim go taking his cell phone and social security card.
On April 15, 2013, the defendant was positively identified by the victim in a photo array.
After questioning by Mount Vernon detectives, the defendant was placed under arrest.
Assistant District Attorney Paula Branca Santos of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.