This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Madeleine O’Neill on April 10, 2018
A Wesleyville man is facing prison time after pleading guilty Tuesday to burglarizing an Erie store where police found him stuck in the ventilation ductwork.
Michael Rodriguez-Santiago, 20, pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony count of burglary under an agreement with prosecutors that was reached at his preliminary hearing in February.
Rodriguez-Santiago will face up to a maximum of 10 years in prison at his sentencing June 27 before Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender, who accepted the plea.
Erie police accused Rodriguez-Santiago of breaking into the Dollar General store at 714 East Ave. on the morning of Jan. 28, when officers were called after store employees reported hearing strange noises. As they were searching for the source of the noise, officers went onto the building’s roof, where they found a vent cover was open and a man had become stuck about 10 feet inside the ductwork, police said.
Police also found a screwdriver, pliers and a hammer that were used to access the ventilation system, according to the criminal complaint.
Under Rodriguez-Santiago’s plea agreement, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office withdrew other charges, including possession of the instrument of a crime and criminal mischief, at his preliminary hearing.
Rodriguez-Santiago remains in the Erie County Prison on $25,000 bond.