Norristown man guilty of federal charges in tavern thefts

Posted: February 03, 2013

A Norristown man was convicted in federal court Thursday of charges connected to following a tavern employee home, robbing him at gunpoint, then returning to the bar and stealing money from its safe.

Marc Viney, 34, will serve prison time for robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, and possession of a firearm to commit a violent crime.

He faces a stiffer sentence because the case was shifted from Montgomery County Court to U.S. District Court using the Hobbs Act, which a government website describes as prohibiting "actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce." The tavern served beer brewed outside of Pennsylvania.

Based on the nature of the case, including that Viney had a firearm, "he was an appropriate candidate for Project Safe Neighborhoods, which allows local prosecutors to take cases to federal court," Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca W. Strubel said.

Strubel told the jury that in July 2011, Viney followed home an employee of Uptown's Roo House Tavern on Willow Street in Norristown. Once in the victim's apartment, Viney bound and gagged him and stole money and a laptop computer.

Viney took the victim back to the tavern and forced him to give up the alarm code and the key to the safe. Viney stole a few thousand dollars and high-end liquor, Strubel said.

He faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years and a possible maximum of life.

- Carolyn Davis

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