PORTLAND, Maine — A Berwick man who pleaded guilty in March to armed bank robbery and other charges was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced.
During a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Portland, Phillip G. Gage, 47, also was ordered to undergo five years of supervised release and pay $20,054 in restitution, Delahanty said.
The charges of armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and using a firearm during the commission of a bank robbery against Gage stem from a string of armed bank robberies in Maine and New Hampshire in August and October of last year.
The robberies occurred at Citizen’s Bank in Somersworth, New Hampshire, on Aug. 21, 2013; Peoples United Bank in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Oct. 7, 2013; Kennebunk Savings in Eliot on Oct. 19, 2013; and Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union in Sanford on Oct. 26, 2013, according to court documents.
Gage pleaded guilty to the charges on March 4.
During the Citizen’s Bank robbery, Gage displayed a demand note that read, in part, “I have a bomb and a gun; if you say a word, you will die” and absconded with $3,132.80, court documents state.
In the People’s United robbery, Gage’s demand note read, in part, “There’s a bomb in the trash can, keep it quiet.” He stole $1,451.
During the Kennebunk Savings robbery, Gage pointed a Ruger Redhawk .44-magnum revolver at tellers while, an associate, Daniel Barry, vaulted over the teller counter and took $7,896 from teller drawers.
During the Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union robbery, Gage pointed a Dan Wesson .22-caliber revolver at tellers and made off with $8,574.
Because he previously was convicted of robbery in Florida in 1986, assault in Maine in 1999, possession of a firearm by a felon in Maine in 1999 and attempting to commit a Class B felony crime in Maine in 2002, Gage received an enhanced sentence as an armed career criminal.
The investigation that led to Gage’s conviction was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Maine State Police and the Eliot, Kittery, Sanford, Berwick, York and Exeter, Somersworth, Alton and Pembroke, New Hampshire, police departments.
Delahanty praised the cooperation among these law enforcement agencies, saying that the armed bank robberies were quickly solved because local, state, county and federal law enforcement agencies across two states worked closely together.