Note: This story was last updated at 5:40 p.m.
A Maine man charged in several armed bank extortion plots, including at Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, authorities said.
Brian Scott Witham, 45, of Waterville, Maine, pleaded guilty to the charges contained in a 15-count indictment from December 2015 involving armed bank extortions of the Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, SmartBank in Knoxville, and Northeast Community Credit Union in Elizabethton, said Nancy Stallard Harr, acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Tennessee. Witham is one of two people charged in the bank extortion scheme.
As part of his plea agreement, Witham agreed to plead guilty to similar charges from three other federal jurisdictions including the Western District of North Carolina, the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the District of Connecticut, authorities said. Witham, U.S. attorneys, and a federal judge all agreed to transfer the similar charges to U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee, a press release said. Those charges include being a felon in possession of a firearm in Haywood County, North Carolina; armed robbery of an Ingles in Arden, North Carolina; armed robbery of the Peoples Security Bank and Trust in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania; and attempted armed bank extortion of the Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain, Connecticut, authorities said. [Read more…]