Robber pleads guilty in bank heists

In federal court in St. Paul in May, a 49-year-old Minneapolis man, previously dubbed by law enforcement as “the man-in-black bank robber,” pleaded guilty to five bank robberies that occurred in Minnesota between March 9, 2011, and Jan. 3, 2012. In entering his plea, Mark Edward Wetsch also admitted responsibility for 25 additional bank robberies that occurred in 2011, including one at KleinBank in Cologne on March 9, 2011 where $11,400 was stolen. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Wetsch pled guilty to robbing five banks, in each case admitting that he wore a black mask and brandished a firearm believed to be real.

Wetsch remains in custody.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the government is seeking a prison sentence of 14 years. Since the federal criminal justice system does not have parole, defendants serve virtually their entire sentence behind bars.