'Man in Black' bank robber pleads guilty to one hold-up

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2013 - 2:36 PM
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A robber matching the description of "Man in Black" held up the Bremer Bank in Calhoun Square on November 22, 2011, at approximately 1:30 p.m. Mark Westch has pleaded guilty to robbing the Rolling Hills Bank in Brewster, Minn. He faces charges for 12 other robberies.

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A Minneapolis man accused of pulling off the “Man in Black” bank robberies across Minnesota pleaded guilty to one bank robbery Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.

Mark Wetsch still faces two back-to-back trials beginning June 3 in connection with 12 other robberies, said U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson.

Wetsch represented himself at Monday’s hearing, although he was accompanied by attorney Jordan Kushner, his standby counsel.

Wetsch pleaded guilty to holding up the Rolling Hills Bank in Brewster, Minn., on Jan. 3, 2012, a robbery that led to his capture. He was arrested later that day while driving near St. Peter, Minn.

The “Man in Black” nickname arose when a man wearing all-black clothing robbed banks in 2011. They were in Alexandria, Hastings, St. Peter, Minneapolis, Albertville, Richfield, Gaylord, Hampton, Faribault, Eden Prairie and Cologne.

At Monday’s hearing, Nelson ordered a pre-sentence investigation while Wetsch remains in custody in Sherburne County jail.

Wetsch was sentenced to four years in prison in 2005 for defrauding a St. Louis Park nursing home while working there.

 

Randy Furst • 612-673-4224

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