DETROIT – Federal prosecutors have asked for a 14-to-28-year prison sentence for Bobby Ferguson, a former Detroit contractor and friend of Kwame Kilpatrick.
Ferguson and Kilpatrick were found guilty in March of several racketeering and corruption charges. They've been locked up since then with no bond. Both have since appealed.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade wrote in the pre-sentencing memo filed Thursday that "Worked hand-in-glove with mayor Kilpatrick in a criminal partnership of enormous proportions. It was Ferguson, rather than Kilpatrick, who was the ‘boots on the ground' of the extortion enterprise, directly issuing threats to the local business people."
Prosecutors said they examined sentenced in corruption cases throughout the nation and found that the "scale of corruption" in Ferguson's case warranted a sentence on the "high end" of the 14 to 30 years.
"Bobby Ferguson was the catalyst at the center of an historic and unprecedented extortion scheme along with former Detroit mayor Kwame
Kilpatrick," the prosecutors wrote.
Ferguson was convicted of running a criminal enterprise by rigging contracts and taking payoffs -- he received at least $73 million in illegal proceeds from extortion during his dealings with city contracts.
Prosecutors said he bullied local businessmen and women, threatening to cancel their contracts if they didn't bend to his demands.
Ferguson is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 10, the same day as Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick was found guilty of 24 charges.