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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Convict Pleads Guilty To Criminal Contempt Charge

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Farrell, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of criminal contempt, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Robert M. Spruill, 30, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2007, Spruill was prosecuted in federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania for drug-trafficking and firearms offenses. On June 6, 2008, he was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.

Spruill was released from custody and began his supervised release on Dec. 27, 2011. During the following year, Spruill was convicted in state court of misdemeanor Criminal Trespass and Theft by Unlawful Taking. He also failed to comply with various conditions of his supervised release, including refraining from illegal marijuana use.

The United States Probation Office filed a petition to revoke Spruill’s supervised release. A hearing was held on Dec. 14, 2012, after which the Honorable Terrence F. McVerry revoked Spruill’s supervised release and sentenced him to six months’ incarceration. Judge McVerry initially stated that Spruill would commence his term of imprisonment immediately. Spruill’s counsel, however, requested that the Court allow Spruill to spend the holidays with his family, and Judge McVerry agreed to permit Spruill to remain at home for the holidays. He was specifically instructed to surrender to the United States Marshals Service’s office on the Second Floor of the United States Federal Courthouse, in downtown Pittsburgh, on Jan. 3, 2013, by noon, to begin to serve his sentence.

Spruill disobeyed that Court Order, and he failed to turn himself in as directed. On Jan. 4, 2013, a bench warrant was issued for Spruill’s arrest.

On Jan. 10, 2013, the United States Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Force found and arrested Spruill at his girlfriend’s residence in Mercer County. Spruill was found hiding in the attic, under clothing.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Oct. 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of an unlimited period of incarceration, an unlimited fine, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Marshals Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Spruill.

Updated July 14, 2015