Maine man pleads guilty to Connecticut hostage situation, attemp - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Maine man pleads guilty to Connecticut hostage situation, attempted robbery

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Police and the bomb squad swarmed the Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain on Feb. 23. (WFSB file photo) Police and the bomb squad swarmed the Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain on Feb. 23. (WFSB file photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

A Maine man plead guilty on federal charges connected to a bizarre hostage situation and robbery attempt in Connecticut last year as well as similar crimes in other states. 

Federal authorities indicted Brian Witham for an attempted bank robbery at the Achieve Financial Credit Union, located at 450 West Main St., on Feb. 23, 2015.

Witham and another man invaded a home on Lufkin Lane in Bristol the night before, authorities said. The two men allegedly tied up and strapped fake bombs to Matthew Yussman, the chief financial officer of Achieve Financial Credit Union, and his elderly mother.

Yussman drove to the Achieve Financial Credit Union where they allegedly told Yussman to empty the vault or they'd remotely set off the bomb near his mother.  

Yussman, however, was able to alert a credit union employee by phone, which prompted evacuations in Bristol and New Britain and school lockdowns in Bristol, Farmington and Plainville.   

The suspects became suspicious and fled the Lufkin Lane location before police arrived on scene. 

Witham was indicted on bank robbery by force or violence and attempted bank robbery by extortion for the crimes in Connecticut.  

On Tuesday afternoon, Witham plead guilty to a 15-count indictment involving armed bank extortions for three banks on Tennessee. Witham agreed to a plea agreement in connection to similar crimes in Pennsylvania, North Carolina as well as Connecticut. 

Witham will be sentenced on Aug. 17 in the U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

FBI New Haven Resident Agency, Bristol Police Department, New Britain Police Department; Connecticut State Police, Farmington Police Department and Berlin Police Department were involved in the investigation.  

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