PORTLAND, Maine: Two Massachusetts men were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Portland for interfering with commerce through acts of violence, conspiring to do so, and discharging a firearm during the acts of violence, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.
Chief U.S. District Judge Jon D. Levy sentenced Eric Mercado, 33, of Lowell, Massachusetts, to 16 years in prison and four years of supervised release. Judge Levy sentenced Steven Hardy, 33, of Maynard, Massachusetts, to 15 ½ years in prison and four years of supervised release. Both men were also ordered to pay $3,740 in restitution to the victim.
According to court records, on May 11, 2019, Mercado, Hardy and other persons travelled from Lowell, Massachusetts to the York, Maine residence of a medical marijuana caregiver with a plan to rob the caregiver of money and marijuana. Some of the members of the conspiracy posed as friends of the caregiver to gain entry into the house and socialized with the caregiver. While the caregiver and these persons were socializing, Mercado and Hardy entered the house through a door that had been unlocked by a member of the conspiracy. They were wearing masks, Mercado was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and Hardy was armed with a 9 mm pistol. Mercado and Hardy ordered the victim onto the ground and demanded money and marijuana, but the victim refused. The victim fled to another part of the house pursued by Mercado and Hardy. Both Mercado and Hardy fired their guns but missed the victim. The victim eventually escaped the house while being chased by Mercado and Hardy. While running down the driveway, Hardy shot at the victim but missed. Mercado and Hardy then returned to the house, stole the victim’s truck and fled the scene. They crashed the vehicle a short time later and fled on foot into the nearby woods. They were later picked up by the driver who had driven them to the house before the robbery.
The York Police Department received an emergency E-911 call. A York officer observed a vehicle in the vicinity of the robbery and recorded that vehicle’s license plate number. Further investigation of the vehicle revealed that it had been rented by the person whom Mercado had recruited to drive him and Hardy to the victim’s house.
FBI was called to assist in the investigation. In September 2019, acting on information that Mercado had thrown the shotgun away while running through the woods, FBI investigators conducted an evidence recovery search of the area and recovered the shotgun submerged in mud.
The FBI, the York Police Department and the York County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
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