St. Michaels Man Pleads Guilty to Tilghman Island Bank Robbery

Openly Walked Into the Bank with a .22 Caliber Rifle

September 12, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - James Anthony Welzenbach, age 61, of St. Michaels, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to armed bank robbery.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief David A. Spence of the Easton Police Department; and Talbot County Sheriff Dallas Pope .

According to his guilty plea, on March 31, 2011 Welzenbach entered the Talbot Bank of Tilghman on Tilghman Island, Talbot County, Maryland openly carrying a .22 caliber rifle. He demanded money from a teller and obtained $4,723. The investigation quickly identified the truck Welzenbach operated when leaving the bank and later that evening, he was arrested. The money and gun were found in the dumpster of a restaurant on Tilghman Island. The rifle was an early model .22 caliber rifle with one round loaded in the single shot chamber. Some of the money was dye stained, indicating that at least one dye pack had exploded after Welzenbach left the bank.

Welzenbach faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for December 15, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, the Maryland State Police, the Easton Police Department and the Talbot County Sheriff's Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.

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