A Red Lion man has admitted to burglarizing 28 York County homes to support his heroin addiction.
Michael James Hughes pleaded guilty Monday to burglary in all 28 cases, senior deputy prosecutor Lishani Sunday said; in three of those cases, he also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in illegal possession of firearms.
And Hughes pleaded guilty in a 29th case -- to fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence and aggravated assault on a police officer, according to Sunday.
He was sentenced to a total of 10 to 30 years in state prison, she said.
Cooperated: "The reason his sentence is so low is because he actually did cooperate with police," Sunday said, including providing officers with the names of people he sold stolen guns to and confessing to burglaries investigators didn't suspect him of committing.
Once he's released, he must remain on parole for the remainder of his 30-year maximum sentence, according to Sunday.
"If he so much as breathes wrong in the next few years, we can lock him up again," she said. "He said (in court) he was really sorry for what he'd done. He also said he had a really bad drug prob-
lem -- although that doesn't excuse his behavior."
Defense attorney Farley Holt said his client regrets committing the burglaries.
Hughes, 45, formerly of the 300 block of West Broadway, must pay more than $100,000 in restitution to his victims, Holt confirmed.
The background: Hughes was arrested Feb. 8 by York Area Regional Police after burglarizing a Hellam Township home and leading police on a chase on Route 24 from Springettsbury Township to Red Lion, police said.
The owner of the Hellam Township home, on Fahringer Drive, called 911 to report that a burglar in a gold minivan nearly ran him over and then fled the scene, police said.
The chase began after a Springettsbury Township officer spotted the minivan. He'd already been alerted the vehicle was seen fleeing a burglary.
Struck cruiser: At the corner of East Prospect and North Main streets in Red Lion, Hughes deliberately hit a police cruiser, which was positioned to block his escape, police said. He was then arrested.
Holt said Hughes maintains he didn't deliberately hit the cruiser.
Inside the minivan, officers found heroin and property stolen from the Hellam Township home, police said.
Inside his home, officers found items stolen during burglaries throughout York County and alerted other police departments, police said, including guns, jewelry, electronics and cash.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.