NH man sentenced for role in Wells bank robbery

Posted June 04, 2013, at 8:28 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A 61-year-old New Hampshire man was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in prison for being an accessory after the fact to bank robbery, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced in a news release.

An accessory after the fact is a person who aids a felon, Delahanty said.

In addition to a 41-month prison sentence, Neil West Sr. of Manchester, N.H., was ordered to undergo three years of supervised release.

Court records show that on the morning of Nov. 19, 2011, West borrowed a car from his employer and drove Bernie Subocz, 45, and his 34-year-old girlfriend, Christie R. Hendrix, from New Hampshire to Maine so that Subocz could rob a bank.

Subocz directed West to the Wells Plaza shopping center in Wells, Delahanty noted. Once there, Subocz told West to keep the car running while he got out and went into the Bank of America branch office.

Subocz then went into the bank, where a manager and two tellers were working. Subocz pulled a knit hat down over his face and the hood of his sweatshirt over his head to disguise his identity, court documents show.

Subocz held one hand inside his pocket as if he had a weapon, announced he was there to rob the bank, demanded cash and then scolded tellers for trying to activate the alarm.

Subocz made off with $4,228, returned to the car in which West was waiting and had West drive him back to New Hampshire, Delahanty said. For his role in the robbery, West was paid with stolen cash.

Subocz was sentenced last month to 15 years and eight months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $15,000 in restitution on charges related to the Wells bank heist and a bank robbery in York, also in November 2011, according to reports previously published by the Bangor Daily News.

He had pleaded guilty in October to two counts of bank robbery and one count each of interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle and aiding and abetting the same, and interstate transportation of stolen money and aiding and abetting the same.

Hendrix, who was repeatedly beaten by Subocz, including on the day of the second robbery, was sentenced in August to 22 months in prison. She pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting bank robbery in connection with the York bank robbery. She was not charged with the Wells bank robbery.

In pronouncing her sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torresen noted that West acted as the getaway driver and that bank robbery is a serious crime that is traumatic for tellers and puts others at risk.

The investigation that led to the three convictions was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the York, Wells, Kennebunk and Kittery police departments as well as police in Manchester, Bedford and New London, N.H.

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