BOSTON - An East Boston man was convicted today in federal court of multiple counts of armed bank robbery.
William DeVincenzi, Jr., 48, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two counts of armed bank robbery and two counts of attempted armed bank robbery. DeVincenzi’s co-defendant, Theodore Sawtelle, 35, also of East Boston, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted armed bank robbery. Both men were charged in March 2011.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that DeVincenzi robbed East Boston Savings Bank on Revere Beach Parkway in Everett and Bank of America in Winthrop on March 3 and 4, 2011, respectively. In both robberies, he placed a pipe bomb on the teller’s counter. DeVincenzi obtained $1900 in cash from the Everett robbery and $3443 in cash from the Winthrop robbery.
Following the Everett and Winthrop robberies, local media published bank surveillance photos of the individual involved in the robberies. After receiving various tips, agents began surveillance on DeVincenzi. On March 8, 2011, DeVincenzi and Sawtelle were observed approaching the Bank of America on Canal Street in Boston. DeVincenzi was observed changing into a blue NY Yankees windbreaker and donning a pair of sunglasses and hat, and placing a pipe bomb into a green accordion-style folder as they approached Canal Street. Prior to entering the Bank of America the pair abruptly turned around and left the area.
The following morning, surveillance teams located DeVincenzi and Sawtelle as they approached the Bank of America on Canal Street, and again, observed DeVincenzi changing into the NY Yankees windbreaker, sunglasses and hat, and carrying the same accordion-style folder as they approached Canal Street. The pair were arrested, and a six inch piece of pipe with an electronic mechanism was found inside the green accordion-style folder. The device was determined to be rendered inert.
DeVincenzi is scheduled to be sentenced on October 4, 2012, while Theodore Sawtell will be sentenced on September 25, 2012. Each defendant faces up to 25 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and restitution.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Task Force which is composed of personnel from the Somerville Police, Malden Police, Saugus Police, Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police. The task force received assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Everett Police Department and Winthrop Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crime Unit.