Description: Burlington, VT - Perkinsville Man Pleads Guilty in Armed Pharmacy and Bank Robbery Case
Michael Bickford, age 38, formerly of Perkinsville, Vermont, pled guilty on December 18, 2017 in the United States District Court in Burlington to charges stemming from the December 5, 2016 armed robbery of the River Street Pharmacy in Springfield, Vermont. Bickford also admitted to the armed robberies of the Windsor County South Credit Union in Springfield, Vermont on October 18, 2016 and the Mascoma Savings Bank in Springfield, Vermont on November 10, 2016. Bickford, who has been detained since his federal arrest in May 2017, appeared before District Judge William K. Sessions III and pled guilty to robbery and carrying and using a firearm.
As described during the change of plea proceedings, at about 8:30 a.m. on December 5, 2016, Bickford entered the River Street Pharmacy located at 100 River Street in Springfield, Vermont armed with a pistol and wearing a dark-colored mask. Bickford approached the counter, pointed the pistol at a pharmacy employee’s midsection, and demanded prescription medications.
While the employee went to get prescription medications, Bickford pointed the pistol at a second employee. After the first employee gave Bickford the prescription medications, Bickford exited. Later that day, law enforcement arrested Bickford and found the loaded pistol in his vehicle, along with the prescription medications and pill bottles stolen from the River Street Pharmacy.
During the change of plea proceedings, Bickford also admitted that on October 18, 2016, he robbed the Windsor County South Credit Union located at 383 River Street in Springfield, Vermont. During this robbery, Bickford was armed with a handgun and unlawfully took and obtained about $3,324. Bickford further admitted that on November 10, 2016, he robbed the Mascoma Savings Bank located at 270 River Street in Springfield, Vermont. During this robbery, Bickford was armed with a handgun and unlawfully took and obtained about $12,000.
Under federal law, the robbery charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty years, and the charge of using and carrying a firearm carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, but the plea agreement caps Bickford’s sentence at eight years. The sentence will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The case was investigated by the Springfield, Vermont Police Department, the Weathersfield, Vermont Police Department, the Windsor County Sheriff’s Department, the Vermont State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Windsor County State’s Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation. “This is an excellent example of local, state, and federal law enforcement working together to keep our communities safe and bring violent criminals to justice. During this holiday season, we are thankful for our partnership with the F.B.I. and U.S. Attorney's Office,” said David J. Cahill, Windsor County State's Attorney.
Bickford is represented by Jordana Levine of Marsicovetere & Levine Law Group, P.C.