3 men plead guilty in Del. to Wilmington bank robbery


Three men charged in the last of a series of violent shotgun robberies in Delaware and Maryland earlier this year have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., to multiple bank-robbery charges.

Michael Montell Boston, 22, of the 100 block of Conley Drive in Annapolis; Hubert Julian Pope, 27, a Philadelphia resident who once lived in Waldorf; and William Francis, 20, of the Bronx, N.Y., are to be sentenced Sept. 4, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Prettyman said yesterday.

Each faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 in connection with the March 14 robbery of the Wilmington Trust Co. They entered their pleas last month.

Delaware authorities also are considering filing state charges against the men because a Wilmington police officer was wounded in the incident, Mr. Prettyman said.

The arrests of the three men and the death of a fourth suspect -- Edward Spencer Punnett, 26, of Philadelphia -- in the Wilmington bank robbery apparently ended a string of 84 shotgun robberies by one gang and several imitators that began in October in Baltimore, said E. Jay Miller, Baltimore County police spokesman.

In Baltimore and Baltimore County, trials are scheduled this month for four other defendants accused of similar robberies.

In the Baltimore case, two men have been charged with 18 robberies of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and grocery-chain stores, said Assistant State's Attorney William D. McCollum Jr.

Baltimore County has filed charges against the same two men and two others in the March 7 robbery of the State Credit Union in Towson.

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