The government agreed not to bring additional charges against Ferguson for the laundry list of crimes in which he was involved over the past decade, provided that he continue to cooperate completely in any ongoing or future investigations by federal, state or local authorities.
Ferguson stood by his attorney, Ed Spinney, wearing a short, black wig, (or possibly hair implants he paid for with government reward money) and looking 50 to 100 pounds heavier than in previous photos. Soon after US Attorney Kirk Engdall read the charges, Ferguson was questioned by Aiken and told the court he had been on Methadone for the past three and a half years. Aiken then informed Ferguson of the loss of rights he was agreeing to by pleading guilty. She then asked Engdall, "I presume there will be restitution?" (as part of the plea agreement), to which Engdall replied, "Yes," until corrected by Spinney who clarified that the agreement included no restitution be paid by Ferguson for his crimes.
Engdall described the charges Ferguson is facing, stating that on each count he could have faced a maximum of 20 years per count (with 5 year mandatory minimum) and a $250,000 fine, but that due to his cooperation the government was asking for a downward departure for substantial assistance, with a suggested sentence at the low end of Zone A of the federal sentencing guidelines (0-6 months). By accepting the plea, Ferguson is required to cooperate with federal, state and local law enforcement in perpetuity, or have his plea agreement withdrawn. Ferguson must provide any relevant documents to authorities, and do ANYTHING required by investigators, including contacting others or providing any information asked of him. The plea deal that Ferguson signed was dated September 17th of 2004.
Aiken then asked Ferguson for his plea on the two counts, to which Ferguson said, "Guilty."
Rather than sentencing him on the spot, Aiken set a sentencing hearing for January 10th of 2008 to allow time for pre-sentencing reports to be drafted.