Detroit — Federal prosecutors want to drop all but three felony firearm charges against contractor Bobby Ferguson, who is the last man standing in a $12 million bid-rigging case.
Prosecutors moved Tuesday to drop two five-year conspiracy charges against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s close friend. That would leave Ferguson facing three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors say the move would streamline and simplify the criminal case against Ferguson, which alleged that he obtained millions of dollars in city contracts by falsifying bids, illegally funneling proceeds and dumping debris from other jobs on the grounds of the old Herman Gardens public housing site on the west side.
“Dismissal of the above identified counts would therefore preserve significant resources of the court, the jurors, witnesses, the defendants and the government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Judge wrote in a court filing Tuesday.
Ferguson, 45, is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 11. Ferguson’s original bid-rigging case ended in a mistrial in summer 2012.
The request comes four days after Ferguson's last remaining co-defendant pleaded guilty in a surprise move just before a jury was seated in the bid-rigging trial.
Ferguson’s former colleague, Michael Woodhouse, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and will be sentenced May 14.
Woodhouse was the sixth person to plead guilty in a criminal case that served as the undercard to the City Hall corruption trial. The corruption case ended with Kilpatrick and Ferguson being sentenced to 28 and 21 years in prison, respectively.
Ferguson also was ordered to pay almost $6.3 million in restitution to the city.
He is facing firearm charges because federal agents allegedly found a shotgun inside a closet at his Riverfront condo during a raid and two semi-automatic pistols during another raid of his Detroit office.
Ferguson is not allowed to possess firearms following an earlier felony conviction.