EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 1, 2013

No jail for man who framed ex's lover for bank robbery

Anthony Drago left false information on Haverhill police tip line


Police reports said Drago had a short romantic relationship with Jennings’ girlfriend while Jennings was incarcerated at Middleton jail, but that Jennings moved back in with the woman after he was released. The reports said both men have filed various complaints against each other with Salem, N.H. police in recent months — Jennings claiming Drago stole his hunting equipment and Drago claiming Jennings threatened him with violence.

Haverhill Detective Carl Rogers said he and another officer went to see Jennings after police received the phone tip about the bank robber. Rogers said they determined Jennings had nothing to do with the robbery after searching the garage and then reviewing Jennings’ automobile and body for ink marks from the stolen money bags.

According to police reports, Jennings’ girlfriend told officers she was romantically involved with Drago for a short time while Jennings was in jail, and that Drago begged her not to renew her relationship with Jennings. Police said the girlfriend told them Drago sent her more than 100 text messages stating how much he loves her and that he is better for her than Jennings. Police said Jennings and the woman tried to obtain restraining orders against Drago in New Hampshire courts, but were denied.

“It appears the whole thing was a set-up by Drago to harass Joe Jennings,” Rogers wrote in his report.

The December bank robbery happened when a man wearing a mask used a knife to threaten a teller and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the bank, located just outside Monument Square. Police searched the area but did not find the man. No one has been charged.

Rogers said Drago refused his request to voluntarily come to the Haverhill police station to speak to officers about the matter. As a result, police had to arrest Drago on a fugitive warrant and trasnsport him from New Hampshire to Haverhill for his arraignment.

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