Three fraud ring suspects arrested earlier this week following a massive raid of a Rugby Road house are in custody after an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday morning.
Alan McNeil Jones, 31, Kelly Erin McPhee, 31, and Mark G. Bernardo, 26, suspected of running a fake ID ring, were charged Monday night after heavily armed federal officials swarmed a house at 920 Rugby Road. Bernardo and McPhee were arrested at the scene, but Jones fled, and was apprehended Tuesday evening after a day-long hunt for his white Range Rover that ended with police surrounding him outside Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.
The three were brought into court in jumpsuits and handcuffs to face a number of fraud charges. Jones—who also goes by Joshua Tucker, Jonathan Williams, Charles Miller, and several other aliases—and McPhee are charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents. The first two carry a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000; the last, up to 15 years and $50,000.
Bernardo also faces the latter charge, plus a charge of money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and up to a $50,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said he expects to file more charges against all three suspects.
According to court records obtained by the Daily Progress, the raid yielded $200,000 in cash and weapons, including assault rifles.
McPhee alone appeared to have supporters looking on in the courtroom. Her parents and several friends sat behind Charlottesville defense attorney Andrew Sneathern, who said he’ll be representing McPhee. Jones, too, said he planned to hire a lawyer, but Bernardo requested a court-appointed attorney, claiming he had no assets beyond $3,000 bank account and a Cadillac his brother-in-law bought in his name.
The three will face preliminary and bond hearings May 16.
This is a developing story. Check C-VILLE.com for updates in the coming days.