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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 10, 2022

New Bedford Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery

Defendant on supervised release for prior bank robbery conviction at time of offense

BOSTON – A New Bedford man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to the July 2021 robbery of a Bristol County Savings Bank branch in Dartmouth. At the time of the robbery, the defendant was on supervised release for a 2014 federal bank robbery conviction.

David A. Frates, 43, pleaded guilty one count of bank robbery. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for July 13, 2022. Frates was charged on Oct. 7, 2021.

On July 19, 2021, an individual – later determined to be Frates – entered a Bristol County Savings Bank branch in Dartmouth. Once inside the bank, Frates approached a teller, demanded $20,000 and threatened to stab a second teller if his demands were not met. Frates then produced a long-handled knife and repeatedly struck the knife on the teller’s counter, while repeating he was going to stab the teller. The teller handed Frates $20,000 from the bank’s vault and Frates exited the bank. An investigation by local law enforcement identified Frates as the robber and arrested him on July 21, 2021. At the time of his arrest, Frates was in possession of over $9,000 in cash.

Frates was subsequently charged by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office with the robbery and later transferred into federal custody.

Frates was previously convicted in 2014 on federal bank robbery charges for the armed robbery of a St. Anne’s Credit Union branch in New Bedford and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. In May 2020, that sentence was reduced to 81 months in prison based in part on changes in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The charge of bank robbery provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Dartmouth Police Chief Brian P. Levesque made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 10, 2022