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“Man in Black” Bank Robber Sentenced

Courtroom GavelST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A bank robber dubbed “the Man in Black” has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Fifty-one-year-old Mark Wetsch was sentenced Monday in federal court in St. Paul. Wetsch has formally changed his name to Sheikh Bilaal Muhammad Arafat.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said Arafat engaged in a “reign of terror” in a series of 31 bank robberies in Minnesota in 2011 that ended with his arrest in January 2012.

Arafat pleaded guilty to six bank robberies, but acknowledged in his plea agreement that he had also committed 25 others.

The Star Tribune reports Arafat raised numerous concerns about his sentence during Monday’s hearing.

In his guilty plea, he admitted wearing a black mask during the robberies and brandishing a firearm that was believed to be real.

 

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