On Friday, 6 January 2017, the National District prosecutors requested pre-trial custody for Brayan Peter Félix Paulino (accused of heading the operations), Mayor Elvin Rodgers Rodríguez (accused of providing the guns for the robberies), Javier Fernández Perelló (accused of being the contact between the military and Percival) and motorcycle mechanic Reivi David Corporán (La Culebra) for complicity in the bank robbery gang allegedly headed by former military officer John Percival Matos, who was shot dead by the Police on 28 December 2016. Judge José Alejandro Vargas will hold the hearing to decide on the coercive measures on Tuesday, 10 January 2017.
The Army announced the suspension of Major Rodgers Rodríguez, who is suspected of supplying the weapons to the gang, but claims he is innocent of all accusations and is asking the press to attend his hearing on Tuesday. Rodgers, a member of the national shooting team, has competed in leading sports events, including the Toronto Pan American Games.
As reported, investigations are in process to establish if other army officers are involved.
According to the National District Prosecution Service, the deceased John Percival Matos was responsible for planning the recent spate of bank robberies, Brayan Félix Paulino was in charge of carrying them out, and a third person waited for them at the corner on a motorcycle for the getaway.
According to the Public Prosecutors, Percival Matos took advantage of his military knowledge to form a criminal gang that used firearms to kill anyone who tried to stop the robberies that occurred at several banks in Villa Mella, Bella Vista Mall and Plaza Lama in August, September and December.
So far, Ana Iris Linares (Liriano), described as Percival Matos’s girlfriend, and who was also a member of the bank robbery gang has been left out of the case.
Linares reportedly said she was not aware of the group’s involvement in the robbery in Bella Vista Mall. Press reports say that Percival and Félix Paulino had hidden in her home in Santiago.
According to the request for coercive measures, Fernández Perelló financed the armed robbery in Bella Vista Mall, sending money to the now deceased Percival Matos through a bank account in the name of Ana Iris Linares. Linares is also known to have rented Percival Matos and Félix Paulino a house in Villa Altagracia where they are said to have stayed while they were on the run from the law.
After receiving the keys to the house, Linares went to the motel in Bonao with Percival and Paulino in the car in which Percival would later supposedly be shot on 28 December 2016. Percival had then sent her and Brayan Felix to buy another vehicle and they left in a taxi, after which he was shot and killed by the Police.