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Buffalo man admits robbing five First Niagara banks

A man suspected of taking part in more than a dozen bank robberies admitted to five of them Monday.

Casey Swain, 37, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of bank robbery but, in a plea deal, admitted to five robberies at First Niagara Bank branches in Buffalo, Lackawanna, Kenmore, Niagara Falls and Bellevue, Pa.

The robberies took place from April through August of last year, and netted Swain more than $24,000 in cash.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Cullinane said Swain used threats of violence in two of the robberies and, as a result, could face a recommended sentence of up 71 months in prison.

In his plea agreement, Swain admits he handed a teller at the Pennsylvania bank a note that said, “No sudden movements and no one gets hurts.”

Frank Passafiume, an assistant federal public defender, said Swain will challenge the government’s use of his alleged threats and will argue for a shorter recommended sentence of up to 57 months in prison.

Swain will be sentenced Dec. 6 by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

His guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the FBI, Buffalo Police, Lackawanna Police, Niagara Falls Police and Kenmore Police.


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