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'Man in black' pleads guilty to more robberies

ST. PAUL -- The "man in black," a suspect in a series of armed bank robberies, pleaded guilty to more robberies Tuesday in federal court in St. Paul.

Mark Edward Wetsch, 49, of Shakopee, pleaded guilty to five bank robberies in Minnesota between March 9, 2011, and Jan. 3, 2012.

In entering his plea, Wetsch also admitted responsibility for 25 additional bank robberies in 2011.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery in a heist that occurred Jan. 3, 2012, in Brewster and led to his arrest.

He entered his latest plea before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson. As part of a plea agreement, Wetsch pleaded guilty to robbing five banks, in each case admitting that he wore a black mask and brandished a firearm believed to be real.

Authorities used the "man in black" description because the suspect in the first few robberies was wearing dark clothing.

Wetsch admitted taking a total of more than $110,000 in the 31 bank robberies.

Wetsch remains in custody. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the government is seeking a prison sentence of 14 years. Nelson will determine Wetsch's sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

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