A 40-year-old Miami man charged with robbing a Key West bank in January with a handgun in his waistband and who fled on his bicycle with about $5,000 wants to plead guilty, his public defenders say.
Frank Nerkell Wright is charged with one count of armed bank robbery, punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and two counts of brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a violent crime, which each carry seven years to life upon conviction.
Wright “desires to enter a guilty plea to resolve the charges currently pending,” public defender Robert Berube wrote in court filings this month.
Nothing filed as of Tuesday indicates any plea bargain is being discussed with federal prosecutors.
The court set a change-of-plea hearing for 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Key West courthouse, 301 Simonton St., and on Monday, Wright’s sentencing hearing was set for 9 a.m. Dec. 5 before Senior Judge James Lawrence King.
FBI agents arrested Wright on May 5 and a grand jury indicted him May 17.
Wright’s criminal history dates back to 1994 when he was 18, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow wrote in an order confining him to jail without bond until after a trial.
Convictions include possession of marijuana and cocaine, tampering with a witness, resisting arrest with violence, multiple charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell, battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and domestic battery by strangulation.
According to the arrest affidavit, Wright wore a hat, sunglasses, a dark jacket and light-colored shorts when he allegedly robbed a Centennial Bank branch, 701 Whitehead St., on Jan. 11, arriving and leaving on his bike.
After viewing the robber’s image from security cameras on TV news that night, an informant contacted an undisclosed law enforcement agency and said he recognized the robber, who he knew as Pimp.
The informant said he ran into Pimp at the McDonald’s in Marathon the same day as the robbery, and Pimp was carrying a black duffel back and a gift bag and he gave the informant $12 “in crisp one-dollar bills,” according to the FBI affidavit.
Two witnesses who say they saw the robber’s face identified Wright as the robber in a photo lineup, according to the FBI complaint.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen