'Man in Black' admits robbing 31 banks

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The bank robbery suspect known as the "Man in Black" has abandoned his defense and now admits he committed all 13 of the holdups he was charged with -- and 18 others, as well.

Mark Wetsch entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors Monday. The Pioneer Press reports he pleaded guilty to five counts of armed bank robbery, but acknowledged under questioning that he robbed 31 banks. The newspaper reports he averaged one holdup every eight days during 2011.

Many of the banks he robbed were in small towns across southern Minnesota. The black clothing he wore in most of the heists became a trademark. Wetsch was finally arrested on January 3, 2012, after robbing a Brewster, Minn., bank of $1,880.

The guilty plea is a reversal for Wetsch, who was representing himself in court. He first pleaded not guilty and claimed earlier this year that prosecutors had a vendetta against him because he is a sympathizer with the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The Pioneer Press reports Wetsch could be sentenced to 14 years or more in prison. No sentencing date was set.

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