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Wheelman in NBT Bank Robbery pleads guilty

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - One of the suspects in two local bank robberies - one of which ended in the shooting of a police officer - revealed details of those robberies when he pleaded guilty to both on Wednesday morning in Oneida County Court.

During his plea alocution in court Wednesday, Ikiko Brown told prosecutor Kurt Hameline that he was only the getaway driver, and that his cousin, Brian Brown, was the gunman and the brains behind the operation.

"'So he did the dirty work? He's the one that was going into the banks and you were just the driver?" asked prosecutor Hameline. "Is that pretty much how this played out?"

"Yeah," Ikiko Brown responded. "I was just the driver.'"

Ikiko Brown says that when an Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy pulled the two over on Route 49 following the NBT Bank robbery on July 29, his cousin, Brian Brown, threatened to shoot the officer if Ikiko Brown pulled over.

"I said no, I was pulling over. He said, 'I'm about to get out and shoot a cop.' I said 'no don't do that.' said Ikiko Brown, who claims he was very clear in telling his cousin from the start that he didn't want anyone hurt.

Ikiko Brown faced 100 years in prison if convicted at trial. As a result of Wednesday's guilty plea to two counts of first-degree robbery, his sentence is 30 years. If Brown testifies against his cousin, it could be reduced to 25 years, but there are no guarantees.

The prosecution on Wednesday simply said they wouldn't object to the reduced sentence if Brown were to testify. Prosecutors also say their case doesn't hinge on Ikiko Brown's testimony.

"They approached us," Hameline said. "We didn't go looking for cooperation. We don't think we really need cooperation."

Ikiko Brown's sentencing is set for the end of November, but that will be postponed if Brian Brown's trial isn't finished by then.

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