Feds charge Philadelphia man in shooting, armed robbery after finding DA's sentence too light

A Philadelphia man who entered a plea deal for shooting a grocery store owner is now being charged by federal prosecutors who say the sentenced handed down by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office was not strict enough.

Investigators say Jovaun Patterson, 30, shot West Philadelphia grocery store owner Mike Pong in the hip during an attempted armed robbery in May of 2018. 

Patterson was later arrested and entered a plea deal with the D.A. Larry Krasner’s office to three and a half to 10 years in prison. 

Now, United States Attorney William McSwain believes the sentence is not tough enough and federal prosecutors are looking to increase Patterson's jail time.

"I don't believe the sentence in the state prosecution was appropriate," Salvatore Astolfi said. "Under the circumstances the pain and suffering that Mr. Pong suffered at the hands of Mr. Patterson, that's not an appropriate sentence in our view."

Patterson admitted Tuesday afternoon to robbery and using a gun during a violent crime.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office is not going to tolerate violent crimes committed with firearms, especially against our shop owners who are robbed unfortunately on a frequent basis," Astolfi said. 

Paterson will be sentenced in March and could now face up to 14 years in prison.

"Our office has previously stated that federal charges in this matter are welcome," said Jane Roh of the district attorney's office. "We will not, however, engage in Trump apointee William McSwain's fact-free grandstanding as he attempts to elevate his political profile."