By Gregory J. Lamoureux
Newly filed court documents show a guilty plea that Amber Fusco, 30, of Richford entered on charges connected to five bank robberies in December of 2017 and January of 2018.
Fusco had been wanted by Federal Authorities in February for the bank robberies, she was eventually taken into custody a week later on February 23rd, according to records.
On Thursday, September 20th, Fusco took responsibility for the bank robberies during a hearing in open court, reducing her 15-year sentence by one year. Fusco could have been sentenced to a maximum of life in jail.
The plea agreement meant Fusco would admit to the robberies, but would only be convicted on two of the five bank robbery charges. She would also be convicted on a charge brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a violent crime.
In addition to the time Fusco would have to serve in prison, Fusco has also been ordered to parole of five years after her release.
Federal Court in Virginia took the role of prosecuting Fusco. She is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia pending her transfer to a Federal Prison.
Fusco admitted to robbing two Virginia banks before returning to Vermont for three more bank robberies.
Fusco was also ordered to pay $6,901.00 in restitution, at a rate of $100 per month, or 25% of her gross wages, whichever is greater.
Court records indicate that Fusco entered a BB&T Bank in Henrico, Virginia on December 20th, handed the teller a note, indicating she had a firearm, then brandished that firearm to make the bank teller comply with her demands.
Three days later, police say Fusco went to a Wells Fargo Bank, handed a teller a note, but did not brandish a firearm at that time.
That note read, “I need large bills. I have a gun and will use it. You have 30 seconds.”
Fusco fled in a vehicle driven by Jennifer Bessette, according to police, unknowingly carrying a GPS tracker with the cash inside the vehicle.
Law Enforcement tracked that vehicle down, but Fusco had already fled in another direction.
The Bonnie and Clyde wannabes then came back to Vermont where Fusco robbed a North Country Federal Credit Union, TD Bank, and a National Bank of Middlebury.
According to court records, Fusco made a stop in New York on her way back to Vermont, where she allegedly stole a $35,000 Rolex watch from a jewelry store.
Fusco’s extensive criminal history was a factor in the sentence. Her criminal record is as follows:
• Driving on a suspended license (July 2011)
• Disorderly Conduct (July 2011)
• Driving on a suspended license (February 2012)
• Disorderly Conduct (August 2012)
• Retail Theft, 2 counts (October 2012)
• Disorderly Conduct (May 2015)
• Theft of Services (June 2015)
• Driving under the influence (November 2016)
• Assault (June 2017)
• Cruelty to a child less than 10 (August 2017)
• Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer (December 2017)
“These convictions show a pattern of continuous assaultive behavior, a complete disregard for the well being of others (including her minor child, and a pattern of defying orders of the court,” said Andela Mastandrea-Miller, the assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case, adding that the sentence was needed to “protect the public from the Defendant’s future criminal conduct.”
Fusco’s accomplice, Jennifer Bessette took a plea deal for 92 months to serve with three years of supervised release thereafter. Bessette was also ordered to repay money to the banks, her share of restitution is $1,251.00.
Police identified a third co-conspirator in the Virginia robberies as Andrew Welton Jr. A warrant for his arrest was issued on July 10th and he has yet to be found, according to court records.