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Press Release

Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced

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

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Billy B. Sanders, 37, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition, was sentenced to serve 71 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was arrested on May 2, 2019, after New York State Parole officers went to Sander’s residence on Saratoga Avenue in Rochester, for a compliance check. During that check, parole officers found a Polymer 80 semiautomatic pistol loaded with eight rounds of ammunition inside a backpack. The handgun did not have a serial number on it. During his plea, Sanders stated that he had the handgun and ammunition because he had been shot and needed the handgun for protection. The defendant admitted he also possessed a small amount of cocaine.

Sanders was previously convicted in April of 2004 in Federal Court of possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine and carrying and brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and was sentenced to serve 105 months in prison. In addition, the defendant was convicted in May of 2004 in Monroe County Court of Robbery in the First Degree, and received a 12 year prison sentence. As a result of those felony convictions, Sanders is legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. 

The matter was brought by the United States Attorney’s Office as part of its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative.  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

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Updated July 23, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses