A federal magistrate, citing the extensive criminal record of a Colchester man, has ruled he must remain behind bars while awaiting trial on a charge of bank robbery in South Burlington.

Gregory R. Moody Jr., 38, of Williams Road, is charged with robbing the Community Bank at 1309 Williston Road in South Burlington at about 4 p.m. March 28. He escaped with $830, police said.

He also is a prime suspect for a bank robbery at the TD Bank on North Main Street in St. Albans City on March 22, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Masterson said during a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington. St. Albans Police arrested him for the 5:21 p.m. robbery a week later, but the state charge was never filed.

Masterson asked that Moody be held as both a risk to flee and a danger to the community.

Federal Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy said while there might be conditions to ensure Moody would not flee, the court believed he was danger to the community if released. Conroy cited five felony convictions Moody has amassed since 2015. He also had violated probation, Conroy said.

Conroy agreed to hold a probable cause hearing on April 16, if Moody is not indicted by a federal grand jury in the interim.

Masterson said while no weapon was displayed in South Burlington, Moody did scare the teller and two others by pounding on the counter and demanding money. She said South Burlington Police seized the apparent get-away van and are in the process of checking it for DNA.

Detective Sean Pope reported that as officers responded to the bank robbery, city police were alerted to a dark van with a dent being stolen from the Maplefields Store on Williston Road and Kennedy Drive less than a mile from the bank.

Masterson said the investigation into the St. Albans robbery is still in progress. She said the day of the South Burlington robbery that Moody was wearing the same clothing and footwear he had on when St. Albans Police interviewed him about the robbery in their city.

She said Moody admitted to using both heroin and cocaine in the days leading up to the robbery and that his parents had thrown him out of their Colchester home.

Masterson said Moody was a flight risk because he can’t follow court orders. She cited two previous failures to appear and there is an outstanding arrest warrant from Hartford, Conn. She did not say the charge. 

Assistant Public Defender Steven Barth said he thought the evidence against Moody was “pretty skimpy.” He also disagreed that photos displayed by police in both cities matched a single suspect.

Barth said Moody thought the warrant in Hartford had been resolved in 2009 and he would be willing to work on it if he was released.

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