'Skeletor Bandit' indicted for six bank robberies

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By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

PHOENIX - A man authorities dubbed the 'Skeletor Bandit' was indicted for six counts charging him with multiple bank robberies.

Russell James Dean, 51, is accused being responsible for robbing six banks between October 22 and December 11.

Dean robbed six banks in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Prescott and Surprise.

In the first four robberies, Dean wore a Halloween-style rubber mask which led authorities to dub him the 'Skeletor Bandit' based on the resemblance to a cartoon character from the 1980's.

“The indictment alleges that the defendant used a weapon during his robbery and placed innocent lives at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “Flamboyant disguises may conceal one's identity but bank robberies, regardless of sophistication, are no match for the dedication and expertise of the FBI's Bank Robbery Task Force and out local police departments in Northern Arizona.”

A conviction for Armed Bank Robbery carries a maximum penalty of 25 years, a $250,000 fine or both.  A conviction for Bank Robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, a $250,000 fine or both. 

Dean is scheduled for trial on February 1, 2011.