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Suspect denies robbery charges

The man accused of robbing a West Fargo bank at gunpoint in August pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against him in Fargo's U.S. District Court on Monday.

Matthew C. Becker, 19, is charged with bank robbery for allegedly holding up the Town & Country Credit Union branch at gunpoint and fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money.

Becker was arrested the day after the incident, and some, but not all, of the money taken was recovered by local police.

Kevin Kragnes, West Fargo branch manager for the Town & Country Credit Union, said he's more aware of his surroundings since the Aug. 3 incident.

"Personally, it has affected me," he said. "I'm more conscious about what's going on around me and when people are coming in to the bank."

Kragnes said he couldn't speak for other employees at the bank but added that they've moved on from what happened.

He had no comment on Becker's plea.

If convicted, Becker faces up to 20 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

A trial has been scheduled for April 27. Becker is in the custody of U.S. marshals, pending a detention hearing slated for later this week.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Reisenauer is seeking to detain Becker until trial because, he says, Becker is a risk to the community and may not appear for trial.

When the August robbery occurred, Becker, then 18, was already on probation for a 2008 robbery-related charge.