BURLINGTON — Eric Edson, 52, of Burlington, pleaded not guilty in United States District Court yesterday to charges of obstructing commerce by robbery, a violation of the Hobbs Act. The plea follows a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Sept. 28.
Edson, who was arrested on Sept. 7 and has remained in state custody, appeared in federal court pursuant to a writ filed by the United States. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle ordered Edson detained pending trial, with the trial date yet to be determined.
The indictment stems from an incident on Aug. 24, when Burlington Police Department officers responded to a robbery report at Sierra Trading Post on Shelburne Road.
According to court records, Edson attempted to leave the store with unpaid merchandise and threatened an employee with what appeared to be a firearm when confronted.
U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest acknowledged the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Burlington Police Department, in the investigation and apprehension of Edson.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized that the indictment is merely an accusation and Edson is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
If convicted, Edson could face up to 20 years in prison.