This is Rochester
A summary of noteworthy crime news in Greater Rochester
Most recent developments
29-year-old man is city's 30th homicide victim of the yearDec. 15, 2019 -- A 29-year-old man was shot to death in Rochester.
Rochester Police Department officers were called to Hayward Avenue and North Goodman Street around 8:50 p.m., where they found a 29-year-old man with gunshot wounds. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment, where he died, said RPD Lt. Timothy Pancoe.
The man's death marked the city's 30th homicide of 2019.
Jury convicts woman, 27, of second-degree murderDec. 10, 2019 -- A State Supreme Court jury convicted a Rochester woman of stabbing a 73-year-old man to death in January.
Jazmine Simmons, 27, was found guilty of second-degree murder for the death of George E. Rogers, who was stabbed 76 times on Jan. 9 while inside his home at 119 Rosewood Terrace.
Rogers' body was discovered by his landlord Feb. 5.
Simmons faces 15 to 25 years to life in state prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 15 in front of State Supreme Court Justice Alex Renzi.
Traffic stop result in seizure of $315,000 in drugsDec. 7, 2019 -- A Fairport man was arrested after investigators found half a pound of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop in Victor.
Adam Cole, 31, was stopped by officers with the Ontario County Sheriff's Department. During the stop, it was discovered that Cole intended to sell the half-pound of marijuana in the car.
A subsequent search of Cole's home uncovered 56 pounds of marijuana, six pounds of concentrated cannabis, more than 700 THC vape cartridges, THC edibles, over 330 ecstasy pills, nearly a half-pound of psychedelic mushrooms, approximately one ounce of cocaine, several long guns, methamphetamine and equipment designed for the manufacturing and packaging of concentrated cannabis.
The total street value of the drugs seized was estimated at more than $315,000. Cole was charged with criminal sale of marijuana in the 2nd degree, a Class D Felony. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance with additional charges pending.
Former judge Astacio sentenced to jailNov. 26, 2019 -- Former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio has been sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to violating her probation.
Astacio, who represented herself in court and pleaded guilty to one of three pending possible probation violations said she was "blindsided" by the prosecution's request for jail time, noting she had already served time for a misdemeanor DWI conviction.
Pawn shop operatives accused in massive schemeNov. 21, 2019 -- Five people have been charged in relation to what prosecutors say were two separate schemes involving pawn shops that resulted in nearly $16 million in retail thefts.
Authorities say the accused contributed to the area's opioid crisis.
Thomas Nary, 35, Eric Finnefrock, 27, Ralph Swain, 30, Devin Tribunella, 35 and Wade Shadders, 22, are all charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, selling and conspiring to sell stolen goods across state lines, and engaging in financial transactions involving the proceeds of specified unlawful actions.
Finnefrock, Swain and Tribunella ware also charged with aggravated identity theft.
Nary owns Rochester Pawn and Gold on Dewey Avenue; Finnefrock and Swain are employees at the location.
The criminal complaint alleges the defendants recruited opioid addicts to steal from retailers including Walmart and Target. The defendants allegedly purchased the stolen items and then sold the goods via online sites.
The defendants from Rochester Pawn and Gold are accused of reselling nearly $12.5 million in goods from January 2015 to August 2019; the defendants from Royal Crown are accused of reselling nearly $3.2 million in merchandise between 2017 and 2019.
If convicted, each defendant could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.
Superseding indictment returned against RHA figuresNov. 21, 2019 -- A federal grand jury issued a 55-count superseding indictment against the former chairman of the board of the Rochester Housing Authority and its former executive secretary.
George Moses now faces 53 counts of wire frud in the case. He previously faced 28 criminal counts in an October grand jury indictment accusing him of conspiring with former Rochester City Council Vice President Adam McFadden to defraud Quad A for Kids, an after-school learning program.
He also faces an assortment of other charges including three counts federal program theft, two counts of making false statements and four counts of filing a false income tax return.
Former secretary Janis White, who had been facing two criminal counts in an initial indictment in November, now faces 13 criminal counts in the new indictment. The charges include 10 counts of wire fraud.
Court papers show Charlie Tan admitting to killing his fatherNov. 20, 2019 -- Charles "Charlie" Tan has admitted to killing his father, a court shows.
Tan, seeking to have his 20-year sentence on gun charges vacated, admits that he fatally shot Liang "Jim" Tan, on Feb. 5, 2015.
"I entered my parents' home through the back door, walked upstairs, turned into my father's office and shot my father three times as he was sitting at his desk," Tan, 24, wrote in an affidavit filed in federal court in Syracuse. "I knew I had killed him."
In the filing, appellate attorney Joel Rudin contends Tan's lawyers could have provided significant evidence at the 2018 sentencing that he had grown up with an abusive father and believed that his father planned to kill his mother, Qing "Jean" Tan.
Federal prosecutors have until March to respond to the request that U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. vacate Tan's sentence.
Rudin argues that a federal judge would have had a more complete picture of what precipitated the homicide and may have been more lenient in sentencing last year after Tan pleaded guilty to tricking a friend into purchasing the shotgun.
Three years before that, a Monroe County Court jury deadlocked on murder charges against Tan. A judge then dismissed the case, deciding prosecutors did not have enough evidence to warrant the criminal charges. An appellate court subsequently decided it could not reverse the dismissal despite there being sufficient evidence for the prosecution.
Federal prosecutors in Syracuse brought the illegal firearms charges against Tan in 2017.
Man stabbed to death on city's Northeast sideNov. 15, 2019 -- A man was killed after he was stabbed on Rochester's northeast side.
Rochester Police Department investigators say they found Michael Smith, 29, with at least one stab wound to his upper body near Barberry Terrace and Mitchell Street. Officers were called to the 80 block of Barberry Terrace around 9:30 p.m. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said they had no suspect in custody.
Errigo will undergo mental competency examNov. 15, 2019 -- A federal magistrate judge has ordered a mental competency exam for former Assemblyman Joseph Errigo, who is accused of bribery in a sting operation in which he and lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy were allegedly duped into taking money to try to derail a pending development project.
Errigo's attorney, Joseph Damelio, requested the exam. Federal prosecutors also agreed with the exam.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson said information presented to her supports the possibility that Errigo may not be mentally fit enough to understand or participate in the court proceedings against him.
The case against Gaddy, a former assistant to Assemblyman David Gantt, is on hold until Errigo's status is determined. Errigo and Gaddy are scheduled to be tried together.
Errigo, who did not win re-election last year, is scheduled to return to court in January.
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