Portland man who drove getaway car, hid loot, cash sentenced to 4 1/2 years

Posted Nov. 14, 2013, at 3:15 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A local man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 4½ years in federal prison for his role in the April armed robberies of a convenience store and a bank in South Portland.

Michael Platts, 22, of Portland waived indictment and pleaded guilty Aug. 1 to one count each of aiding and abetting interference of commerce by robbery, aiding and abetting the use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a stolen firearm.

Platts admitted that he drove Joseph Morrill, 23, of South Portland on April 17 to the Cumberland Farm store on Cottage Street in South Portland. Morrill entered the store wearing a black ski mask, brandishing a gun he had stolen six months previously from a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office cruiser, according to court documents.

Morrill fled out the front door of the convenience with about $182 in cash and got into the car Platts was driving. Five days later, on April 22, Morrill used the same pistol to rob the TD Bank on Market Street in South Portland.

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After that robbery, Platts and his girlfriend, Korey Lee Burnham, 22, of South Portland helped Morrill hide the gun and the bank loot in Portland. The next day, the couple moved the gun to the home Bahman Habibi, 27 of South Portland, who was described in court documents as their heroin dealer. Investigators recovered the stolen gun in June.

Morrill pleaded guilty in Aug. 19 to the same charges Platts did and one count of bank robbery. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Burnham, 22, pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to two counts of making false statements to a government attorney. She is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

On Oct. 30, a jury found Habibi guilty of one count of possession of a stolen firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced next year.

Platts faced up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the most serious charge of aiding and abetting a robbery. Morrill faces up to 30 years and the same fine on the bank robbery charge alone. Habibi faces up to 10 years in prison and the same fine. Burnham, who is the only one of the four to be released on bail, faces up to five years in prison and the same fine.

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