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Press Release

Former Erie Resident Pleads to Throwing Explosive Devices at Police During May 30, 2020 Riots

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possession of an unregistered destructive device, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Tyvarh Nicholson, 30, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Nicholson threw Molotov cocktails at police officers during the riot that occurred in downtown Erie on May 30, 2020.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for December 13, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing. the Judge ordered the defendant's continued detention.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Nicholson.

Updated August 4, 2021

Violent Crime