OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge sentences a man accused of being the mastermind behind a multi-state bank robbery ring to nearly 15 years in prison.
Gerard -D- Bennett pleaded guilty in February to a single count of bank robbery as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, who in return dismissed 20 counts against him.
US District Judge Tim Leonard Wednesday gave Bennett 175 months in prison, five months shy of the maximum punishment under federal sentencing guidelines. Bennett also will have to pay his share of more than 63-thousand dollars in restitution.
Prosecutors said the 32-year-old masterminded a bank robbery spree that struck as many as 43 banks in eight states during a 20-month period in 2002 and 2003.
Defense attorney Joe Wells said Bennett has admitted to his role in the robberies, but he said it was misleading to point to him as the leader.
Four already had been convicted in federal court before Bennett was arrested last August.