A Meadville-area man has been sentenced to more than three decades in state prison by Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for a series of armed tavern robberies around the county in 2012, assaulting his co-conspirator and a firearms violation.
Michael D. Ferguson, 38, of 9662 Kennedy Hill Road, was convicted at a jury trial in September of the early-morning armed robberies of three area taverns in 2012 — The Owl’s Nest near Saegertown on July 22; Nate’s Bar and Grill in Greenwood Township on July 22; and the Double D Bar in Venango on July 30.
A jury of four men and eight women also convicted Ferguson of simple assault and harassment for assaulting his co-conspirator, Harry Boyer Jr., at the Crawford County jail on Aug. 28, 2012, following their arrest.
In October, Ferguson pleaded no contest in county court to possessing a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number for owning a sawed-off shotgun.
Ferguson was sentenced this week by President Judge Anthony J. Vardaro to a total of 35 to 73 years in prison for the crimes.
Ferguson faced a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in jail for each of three first-degree felony robbery convictions, since a firearm was used.
Boyer drove Ferguson to and from all three taverns to commit the robberies while Ferguson entered all three taverns and demanded money while wielding a shotgun. The robbery and assault cases against Ferguson were joined at the trial in county court.
Ferguson was convicted of a total of 42 counts in the robbery case — three counts each of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, terroristic threats and firearm possession violation; 12 counts each of reckless endangerment and simple assault; five counts of theft by unlawful taking; and one count of attempted theft by unlawful taking. However, the 12 counts each of reckless endangerment and simple assault along with five counts of theft by unlawful taking all merged with the robbery charges at sentencing.
For the robbery case, Vardaro sentenced Ferguson to serve 34 to 71 years in state prison with 457 days credit for time already served and ordered him to pay costs and full restitution to the victims, but levied no fine.
For the assault case, Vardaro sentenced Ferguson to serve one to two years in state prison consecutive to the robbery case sentence plus pay court costs, but no fine was imposed. There was no credit given for pre-sentence incarceration.
For pleading no contest possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number, Vardaro sentenced Ferguson to serve two to 10 years in state prison with 457 days credit plus pay court costs, but no fine. The firearms charge will be served concurrently with the robbery-related sentence.
For his role in the robbery case, Ferguson’s co-defendant Boyer pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison.