Hugh Clarence Ridgley Found Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2011|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that on December 14, 2011, in Great Falls, after a federal district court trial before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, HUGH CLARENCE RIDGLEY, a 24-year-old resident of Great Falls, was found guilty of two counts of robbery affecting commerce. Sentencing is set for April 2, 2011. He is currently detained.
On January 6, 2011, “XX”, a Havre pizza deliveryman called the Havre Police Department to report he had just been robbed. Earlier in the evening, a call had been placed to the pizza restaurant requesting two pizzas and a bottle of soda be delivered to an address in Havre. When “XX” arrived at the location, he saw two male individuals standing in the area and asked if they had ordered the pizzas/soda—they indicated they had placed the order. When “XX” walked up to the two males with the pizzas/soda, one of them asked “XX” for change, and the other showed “XX” a handgun and told “XX” he was being robbed.
The males then took the money from “XX’s” pocket and the pizzas and soda. The males then turned around and walked away. “XX” returned to his vehicle and called 911. When police officers arrived, “XX” described the clothing they were wearing and officers searched but were unable to locate the individuals. Officers did locate a receipt for the pizzas on the ground and took pictures of the footprints in the snow located around the receipt.
The money taken from “XX” was money that belonged to the pizza shop. The night that “XX” was robbed, the person who called in the order asked for change for a $100 bill. The pizza shop gave “XX” extra money for his “bank” to be able to provide change for the customer. “XX” normally takes out money from the pizza shop at the beginning of his shift and then returns the money when his shift is over. The money provided to “XX” is not his personal money or money for him to keep—it is the pizza shop’s money.
A Havre Police Department sergeant called a detective with the Great Falls Police Department and described the recent robbery of the pizza shop employee. The Great Falls Police Department detective indicated the robbery sounded similar to a robbery of a pizza shop deliveryman that had been committed in Great Falls by RIDGLEY and Christopher Lakey.
On January 8, 2011, RIDGLEY robbed “ZZ” at knife-point while “ZZ” was working as a pizza delivery driver in Great Falls.
ZZ” was followed by a white car. The white car stopped behind “ZZ’s” car when he stopped to deliver pizzas at a Great Falls residence. A man from the white car got out and started asking “ZZ” questions about the pizza shop like, “What time do you stop delivering?” and “What time does the pizza shop close?” “ZZ” began to answer the questions when RIDGLEY pulled out a folding knife with the blade exposed and pointed it at “ZZ.” RIDGLEY then demanded, “Give me your money.” After “ZZ” gave RIDGLEY the money from his right pocket, RIDGLEY ran back to the white car. “ZZ” briefly followed the white car to get the license plate number and called 911. “ZZ” later identified RIDGLEY as the robber from a photo lineup.
ZZ” noted the white car’s license plate as it drove away with the pizza shop’s “bank.” The license plate came back to a Great Falls resident who had loaned the car to Lakey.
ZZ” described the robber as a Native American male between the ages of 18 and 23 years old. The robber wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with the hood up. The robber also had some facial hair in the chin and mustache areas.
RIDGLEY took the “bank” provided by the pizza shop. The “bank” is used to make change for pizza delivery customers and is money that belongs to the pizza business, not the delivery driver.
Lakey was arrested the same day and police officers located a black and silver folding knife on Lakey’s person. The officers also found $20 on Lakey in the form of 10 $1 bills and two $5 bills.
When questioned, Lakey admitted to driving during the robbery. According to Lakey, RIDGLEY did the actual robbery of the delivery driver. Lakey was the driver and RIDGLEY was the passenger in the white car. Lakey stated that the delivery driver followed them for a time after the robbery. Lakey said the knife was his, but RIDGLEY handed him the money before they started running from the police. Lakey said that RIDGLEY was wearing a dark hoodie and had some facial hair.
While incarcerated, RIDGLEY told another inmate that he had robbed a pizza guy in Great Falls at knife point. RIDGLEY stated that he had to run through the snow to get away from the police. RIDGLEY told the other inmate that “Chris” was his partner. RIDGLEY blamed Chris for telling the police about the pizza guy robbery after Chris was apprehended.
Lakey pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette L. Stewart and Jessica A. Betley prosecuted the case for the United States.
RIDGLEY faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years’ supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Great Falls Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Havre Police Department.