General Crime

*San Francisco James Burge Pleads Guilty To Unarmed Robberies Of Nine Banks In The City

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A San Francisco man pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to the unarmed robbery of nine banks in the city between November 2007 and March 2008.James Burge, 52, entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel in San Francisco.He will be sentenced by Patel on June 29. Burge faces a theoretical maximum sentence of 20 years for each count, but the actual penalty will be determined after consideration of federal sentencing guidelines.U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said Burge was unarmed during the robberies, but gave tellers notes saying he had a gun.Burge was initially charged in a criminal complaint in March 2008 with two bank robberies, but an indictment in November expanded the number to nine.An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint in March 2008 stated that Burge confessed the robberies to police after giving up his right to a lawyer. Burge said he robbed the banks to support a heroin habit, the affidavit said. The banks included branches of Trans Pacific National Bank, Bank of the West, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and U.S. Bank, according to the indictment. Russoniello said Burge pleaded guilty to all nine counts without a plea agreement.

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