Guilty plea for ‘River Rat’ in bank jobs

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PORTLAND — A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty in federal court to four Portland bank robberies that helped earn him the nickname “River Rat Bandit.”

The River Rat is blamed for a 2009 series of armed robberies on both sides of the Columbia River that netted more than $96,000. In addition to the four Portland bank jobs, The Oregonian reports that the robber hit 14 banks or check cashing outlets in Washington, from Clark County to the Puget Sound area.

Prosecutors say Alexey Perez-Hernandez relied on Travis Oles to drive the getaway vehicle. Oles was earlier sentenced to 18 years.

Perez-Hernandez entered his guilty pleas Wednesday. Under a plea agreement, he is expected to serve 28 years in federal prison and be ordered to pay nearly $25,000. Sentencing was set for Dec. 7.

The newspaper said prosecutors in the Washington counties of Clark, King and Pierce are expected to accept guilty pleas from Perez-Hernandez and allow him to serve those sentences concurrently with his federal term.