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Press Release

Bronx Man Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison For Drug-Related Shooting On Crowded Manhattan Sidewalk

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL ROWE, a/k/a “MJ,” was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for shooting another man over a $150 drug debt on a crowded sidewalk in Hell’s Kitchen on April 29, 2023.  ROWE was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Michael Rowe resorted to a reckless act of violence when his victim failed to pay him just $150.  Rowe could have taken someone’s life on that crowded sidewalk in Hell’s Kitchen over a trivial drug debt, but fortunately, no bystanders were hurt, and the victim survived his injuries.  Thanks to the quick work of our law enforcement partners and the prosecutors of this Office, Rowe now faces prison time for his dangerous behavior.”

According to the Complaint and Information, as well as statements by the Government and defense in connection with the plea and sentencing proceedings in this case:

On or about April 29, 2023, ROWE got into a disagreement with another individual (the “Victim”) on the sidewalk in the vicinity of 650 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan.  ROWE had given the Victim a quantity of cocaine base to sell, and the Victim had failed to pay ROWE a debt of $150.  After they exchanged words, ROWE brandished a firearm and shot the Victim several times as the Victim stood among other bystanders.  ROWE shot the Victim in the leg, among other places, and the Victim was hospitalized with serious physical injuries.  Video footage from the scene shows ROWE pointing the gun and shooting the Victim, as others in the area fled for safety.

ROWE (in black) and the Victim (in blue) Arguing

Photo of the defendant and the victim arguing on a busy sidewalk

ROWE Shooting the Victim

Photo of the defendant shooting the victim on a busy sidewalk

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ROWE, 23, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty to possessing ammunition after sustaining three prior felony convictions for violent felonies and serious drug offenses and to conspiring to distribute cocaine base.  In addition to the prison term, ROWE was sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD.  Mr. Williams also thanks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for its assistance in this case.

This case is being handled by the Office's Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Balsamello, Peter Davis, and Jamie Bagliebter are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated October 5, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-352