Pittsfield man sentenced to five years for role in credit union heist


PITTSFIELD -- A 32-year-old city man who was set to go to trial in connection with a March credit union robbery took a plea deal at the last minute on Monday and was sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The deal allows Brandon C. Wood to receive a concurrent sentence for a similar crime committed in Boston, according to his lawyer.

On Monday in Berkshire Superior Court and before jury selection began, Wood appeared with his attorney, Robert D. Sullivan Jr., and pleaded guilty to a single count of unarmed robbery.

According to police and prosecutors, Brenda Santos, 23, of Whitman, walked into the Greylock Federal Credit Union office on Elm Street at 4:30 p.m. on March 30 and handed a teller a note that stated, "I know more about you than u think. No Dye Packs or tracers, wait 5 mins before Alerting Anyone!"

Santos and Wood, who met in rehab, arrived in Pittsfield on March 29, spent the night at Wood's mother's house, and returned to Boston the next day.

On the day of the robbery, Wood asked his grandfather to drive him and Santos to the bus station but asked him to first stop at the bank. Santos allegedly walked in to the bank wearing a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses, handed the teller the note, and made off with $2,900, according to a police report.

Wood's grandfather was unaware of what had taken place, police said.

After the pair left Pittsfield, police said the duo was involved in a April 2 robbery in Boston.

In that robbery, Wood allegedly walked into the Eastern Bank on Dartmouth Street in the Back Bay neighborhood, passed the teller a note and made off with $2,000 in cash.

They were arrested, along with a third man, 27-year-old William Curtin, of Dedham, in Brookline after police learned of their plans to rob two banks there on April 4, according to a probable cause report.

In the Pittsfield case, Santos, who was set to take the stand against Wood at trial, is scheduled to plead guilty to her charges on Wednesday.

Judge John Agostini sentenced Wood to 3 1/2 to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department with assistance from the Boston Office of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.

First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello prosecuted the case.


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