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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Farrell Man Sentenced To 21 Months In Prison For Criminal Contempt Of Court

PITTSBURGH - A Mercer County resident has been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh to 21 months’ incarceration, followed by one year of supervised release, on his conviction of criminal contempt, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Robert M. Spruill, 30.

According to information presented to the court, Spruill was prosecuted several years ago 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 January 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. Due to Spruill’s failure to comply with the Court’s order to report for service of sentence, he was charged with criminal contempt, and he pleaded guilty to that charge earlier this year.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Bissoon rejected the defendant’s request for leniency, noting the “very serious nature of the offense.” Judge Bisson also stated that a 21-month sentence was appropriate in light of Spruill’s “extensive criminal history” involving “violence and drugs.”

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

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Marshals Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Spruill.

Updated July 14, 2015