Crystal Dufault, 33, and Joseph Richards, 46, both of Manchester, N.H., pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery.

U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said in a press release the charges arise from the Aug. 3, 2015, armed bank robbery of Norway Savings Bank, in Freeport, by Richards; the Aug.14, 2015, armed bank robbery of Franklin Savings Bank, in Franklin, N.H., by Dufault and Richards; the Sept. 4, 2015, armed bank robbery of University Credit Union in Portland by Dufault and Richards; and the Sept. 12, 2015, armed bank robbery of TD Bank in Lewiston by Richards.

According to court documents, a pellet gun was brandished during each of the robberies and the robber(s) absconded with $5,854 from Norway Savings Bank; $9,887 from Franklin Savings Bank; $12,308 from University Credit Union; and $9,888 from TD Bank.

The defendants face up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each charge. They will be sentenced after completion of a pre-sentence investigation report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office, Delahanty said.

The joint investigation was conducted by the Franklin and Manchester, N.H., police departments; the Freeport, Portland, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach and Saco police departments; the Maine State Police; and the Southern Maine Gang Task Force, comprising agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and the Portland, South Portland, Lewiston and Biddeford police departments.


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