Just over a year ago, the Brewster Bank was robbed by 50-year old Mark Wetsch, one of 13 bank robberies Wetsch aka "Man In Black" has been charged with, by the FBI.
The former nursing home executive now says he's willing to plead guilty to holding up the Rolling Hills Bank in Brewster with a toy gun. He’s accused of stealing more than $69,000 from banks over 10 months, beginning in March 2011.
He said he'll admit to robbing the Brewster bank only, and by intimidation, not force or violence, since the weapon he used was a toy gun. Wetsch denies committing the other robberies and claims he is the subject of an unjust and vindictive prosecution in part because his wife is Somali and he has strong ties to the Somalian Community, and says the government has it in for him because he sympathizes with the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab.
In a motion filed in his federal case, Wetsch says prosecutors’ insistence that he serve at least two decades behind bars scuttled an earlier plea bargain.
Prosecutors have until Jan. 29 to respond to a motion filed by Wetsch for a change of plea. Wetsch, who has served time in federal prison for mail fraud, is now representing himself, despite a lack of legal training, and has dismissed two court appointed attorneys. A trial has been scheduled for April 22.