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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Friday, January 23, 2015

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Bank Robbery

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX:  (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Michael Mitchell, a/k/a Max, 22, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to six counts of bank robbery, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that between October 2013 and January 9, 2014, Mitchell committed six bank robberies and aided another individual in committing a seventh robbery in the Buffalo and Rochester, NY areas.

In October 2013, the defendant planned then aided another individual in robbing the First Niagara Bank at 529 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo on October 23, 2013. Mitchell also committed the following robberies:

•             December 3, 2013, First Niagara Bank, 529 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo

•             December 16, 2013, First Niagara Bank, 805 Main Street, Niagara Falls

•             December 26, 2013, First Niagara Bank, 70 Lyell Avenue, Rochester

•             December 27, 2013, KeyBank, 201 Amherst Street, Buffalo

•             January 3, 2014, M&T Bank, 130 Grant Street, Buffalo

•             January 9, 2014, First Niagara Bank, 1248 Abbott Road, Lackawanna

During each of the robberies, Mitchell passed a note to the teller demanding money and threatened the use of a weapon.

“With this conviction, our investigation into one of the most prolific bank robbers of this era is over, said U.S. Attorney Hochul.”

Co-defendant Sheila L. Cassata pleaded guilty to bank robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15 at 12:30 p.m.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel, the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Bryan DalPorto, and Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Sentencing for Michael Mitchell is scheduled for April 23, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated January 26, 2015