SANTA ANA ( — Michael David Marano, the man known as the “Drifter Bandit,” pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing four south Orange County banks last year.

Marano, of Santa Ana, allegedly took more than $30,000 at the four heists between May 3, 2011 and July 6, 2011, according to prosecutors.

Court records show the 46-year-old took a plea bargain from Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald, pleading guilty to four counts each of second-degree robbery and second-degree commercial burglary.

In exchange, the judge dropped other charges for eight prior strike convictions for five 1988 robberies, a robbery last year, and two 1988 assaults with a firearm, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Marano was arrested July 8, 2011 and could have faced up to 125 years to life in prison if he was convicted at trial, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez.

After taking the plea bargain, he was immediately sentenced to 30 years in prison.


» Alleged ‘Drifter Bandit’ Makes 1st Court Appearance

» Suspected ‘Drifter Bandit’ Behind Bars In OC

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)