Man nick­named ‘Willy Wonka’ pleads guilty to mul­ti­ple crimes

Woonsocket Call - - OBITUARIES/REGION -

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The leader of a mul­ti­state ATM and ve­hi­cle bur­glary ring known as “Willy Wonka” or the “Choco­late Man” has pleaded guilty to 60 charges.

The Salem News re­ports that 47-year-old Wil­liam “Willy Wonka” Ro­driguez pleaded guilty Thurs­day to his role in crimes in Mass­a­chu­setts, New Hamp­shire, Rhode Is­land and Con­necti­cut that net­ted more than $300,000 in prop­erty and cur­rency. The Lawrence man was one of five peo­ple ar­rested in Au­gust dur­ing a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion dubbed Op­er­a­tion Golden Ticket.

Ro­driguez re­mains jailed on $500,000 bail pend­ing sen­tenc­ing Nov. 7 where he faces up to 12 years in pri­son.

Au­thor­i­ties say the gang wore black cloth­ing and masks, car­ried po­lice scan­ners, two-way ra­dios and power tools. They of­ten stole ve­hi­cles, which they used to crash into busi­nesses so they could steal ATMs.

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