Rhode Island Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robbery
BOSTON - A Rhode Island man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to armed bank robbery.
Michael A. Dirocco, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for March 6, 2018.
On Nov. 14, 2014, two men entered a branch of the Webster Bank in Seekonk, Mass. One of the men vaulted over the teller’s counter and started taking money from the drawers. The other man brandished what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at the tellers. The two then fled the scene in a large black SUV with $10,065 in stolen cash.
A short time later, an individual in Rhode Island observed two men removing license plates from a large black SUV and exchanging them with Rhode Island plates. The individual was able to record the Rhode Island license plate numbers and provide them to law enforcement officers. The officers then spoke to the registered owner of the vehicle with Rhode Island license plates and determined that the owner’s son, Dirocco, was operating her vehicle. When officers in Rhode Island later located the black SUV, Dirocco was no longer the operator. They learned that Dirocco was now using a green pickup truck, which was later observed heading in their direction. Upon seeing police, the truck’s driver, later confirmed to be Dirocco, stopped the vehicle, made an abrupt U-turn, and sped off, resulting in an extended car chase that culminated with Dirocco crashing the vehicle into a tree. Dirocco matched the description of the gun wielding bank robber and was subsequently arrested.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 25 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn made the announcement today. The Rhode Island State Police and Burrillville, R.I., Cranston, R.I., Pawtucket, R.I., and Seekonk, Mass., Police Departments provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.