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Butte man pleads guilty to 3 armed robberies

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Posted at 2:24 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 16:46:28-04

A Butte man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of robbery in three different Montana cities, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson.

Thomas Scott Cockrill, 49, is accused of committing armed robberies in Missoula, Helena, and Butte last February.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided, and Cockrill was detained pending further proceedings.

Court documents say on Feb. 9, Cockrill robbed Blackjack Pizza in Missoula and brandished a handgun at an employee. Later that same evening, Cockrill held up at gunpoint an employee of the La Quinta Inn in Helena.

Four days later, on Feb. 13, Cockrill robbed the Elevated Dispensary in Butte and brandished a handgun at an employee.

Each business lost several hundred dollars in the robberies. When interviewed by law enforcement, Cockrill admitted he owned three firearms and that he robbed the three businesses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, Helena Police Department, Missoula Police Department, Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement, and Montana Probation and Parole.

Cockrill's sentencing is set for Nov. 10 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen.