New Bedford man sentenced for Dartmouth bank robbery

Nov 6, 2023

A New Bedford man was sentenced Nov. 1 in federal court in Boston for the July 2021 robbery of a Bristol County Savings Bank branch in Dartmouth. At the time of the robbery, the defendant was on supervised release for a 2015 federal bank robbery conviction, according to a Department of Justice release. 

David A. Frates, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 77 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $20,000 to the Bristol County Savings Bank for the bank robbery.

An additional 33 months was applied for committing the offense while on federal supervised release for a prior bank robbery conviction. The 33-month period is to be served consecutive to the 77 months imprisonment, for a total term of 110 months in prison.

In July 2021, Frates was arrested and charged with the robbery of the Bristol County Savings Bank, and has remained in custody since that time. He pleaded guilty in March 2022.

On the date of the robbery, Frates approached a teller and demanded $20,000. The teller handed Frates money from the bank’s vault and Frates exited the bank. A subsequent investigation identified Frates as the robber and he was arrested. At the time of his arrest, Frates was in possession of over $9,000 in cash.

Frates was convicted in 2015 of federal bank robbery charges for the armed robbery of a St. Anne’s Credit Union branch in New Bedford and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In May 2020, that sentence was reduced to 81 months in prison based, in part, on changes in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.