A third man who pleaded guilty to his involvement in a robbery attempt at the York home of a medical marijuana caregiver has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison.

Nathaniel Rivera pleaded guilty in February 2020 to one count of conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, or robbery “affecting interstate or foreign commerce.” U.S. District Judge Jon Levy imposed the sentence of 97 months, or eight years and one month, during a hearing Wednesday in Portland. Under a plea agreement, Rivera had waived his right to appeal any sentence less than five years, so he could ask the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston to review the penalty.

Court documents show Eric Mercado, Steven Hardy and Rivera came from Massachusetts in 2019 in hopes of stealing money and marijuana from the man at his home. Instead, their intended victim fought back with a liquor bottle, and was shot at by two of the men before he ran to a neighbor’s house. Rivera turned himself in to law enforcement a couple of weeks after the robbery, and the other two men were arrested three months later.

Mercado and Hardy also pleaded guilty to federal crimes associated with the robbery. In addition to the conspiracy charge, both admitted to one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. As a result, those two defendants faced harsher penalties that Rivera. On Tuesday, Levy sentenced Mercado to 16 years in prison and Hardy to 15½ years. All three men will also pay restitution of more than $3,700.

Court documents describe Mercado and Rivera as the organizers of the robbery, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry told the judge Tuesday that Rivera did not face the same charges as the other two defendants because he did not fire a weapon on the night in question, and because he provided information about the case to investigators. Defense attorney Amy Fairfield also asked for leniency in her sentencing memos because Rivera feels sincere remorse for what happened that night and because he has the support of his family once he is released from prison.

Perry filed a written narrative of the night in question, which Rivera agreed not to contest. That document says the victim knew Rivera from his marijuana business, and the three defendants worked with others on the robbery plan.

The prosecutor said Rivera called the victim on May 10, 2019, and said he was with two women who wanted to come over and party. They later went to the man’s house, drank alcohol and socialized in a hot tub. Rivera then unlocked the door for Mercado and Hardy, who later arrived armed with a shotgun and a handgun. They attempted to rob the man, but he resisted. Both men fired their weapons but missed the victim, who was able to flee the house and escape.

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