‘Man in Black’ pleads not guilty to bank robberies 09 Feb 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minneapolis man who authorities say is responsible for a string of bank robberies in Minnesota has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of armed bank robbery.

Forty-nine-year-old Mark Wetsch entered his plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.

He had been dubbed the “Man in Black” for the dark clothing authorities say he wore during his robberies.

Wetsch was arrested in January after a bank robbery in Brewster, in southern Minnesota. Authorities said at the time that he alluded to other bank robberies. Wetsch told authorities he used a toy gun in the Brewster robbery because he didn’t want to hurt anyone.

On Thursday, authorities unsealed an indictment that charges him with robberies in Minneapolis, Alexandria, Hastings, Faribault and other cities around Minnesota.

Wetsch remains in custody.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)