Bangor Police investigate a robbery at the Down East Credit Union in Bangor on March 27, 2019. Credit: Gabor Degre

The Hampden man accused of robbing Down East Credit Union in Bangor of $8,726 on March 27 pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of bank robbery.

Ronald Tilley, 59, told employees during the robbery that his daughter was seriously ill but he later said he needed the money to buy drugs, according the prosecution’s version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

Tilley will continue to be held without bail until his sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.

Credit: Courtesy of South Windsor Police Department

During the robbery, Tilley threatened staff verbally but did not brandish a weapon before making away with the money, according to court documents.

“I have a gun and I will shoot,” Tilley told the branch manager, pointing at her and telling her to sit down.

Before leaving the credit union, located on Springer Drive, at about 2:30 p.m., Tilley apologized to the tellers.

“I am sorry,” he said. “My daughter has cancer. Have a nice day.”

After leaving with the cash, the branch manager was able to give a description of the robber’s car — a maroon Chevrolet Silverado with rust or mud and salt on it — to investigators. Police found Tilley’s car in Hampden and some cash in a black backpack after they searched his home.

Investigators confirmed it was money Tilley had taken from Down East Credit Union.

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Tilley was arrested in South Windsor, Connecticut, on March 31 after he allegedly tried to walk out of a store without paying for nearly $60 in clothing.

He confessed to the robbery when interviewed and said he was “compelled to committing it” because of his addiction to heroin, court documents said. He also admitted that he did not have a daughter who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Tilley originally was charged in state court but was indicted by a federal grand jury in May. Tilley faces twice the prison time in federal court — 20 years — than if he’d been convicted in state court. The state charges have been dismissed, according to the clerk’s office of the Penobscot Judicial Center.

He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 in U.S. District Court and most likely will be ordered to pay restitution.