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2 Mass. men arrested in armed robbery attempt in Maine

Two Massachusetts men were arrested Monday for allegedly trying to steal marijuana plants and cash in York, Maine, federal prosecutors said.

Eric Mercado, 32, of Lowell, Steven Hardy, 42, of Maynard, and other unnamed men allegedly drove to a residence in York, Maine, on May 10 to commit an armed home invasion and robbery, Maine US Attorney Halsey Frank’s office said in a statement.

During the robbery attempt, a scuffle ensued, and the men were unable to steal the money and marijuana plants they came for.

Mercado and Hardy were wearing masks and allegedly fired their guns during the struggle, grazing the homeowner with a bullet, Daniel Perry, an assistant US attorney, said.

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Mercado and Hardy were charged Saturday with conspiring to interfere with commerce by robbery, prosecutors said. Mercado was arrested Monday in Georgia, and Hardy was arrested in Maynard.

The case remains under investigation by the FBI and York, Maine, police. Mercado will make an initial appearance in US District Court in Savannah, Georgia, and Hardy will appear in Worcester District Court, but neither court date had been scheduled as of Monday afternoon, prosecutors said.


Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.