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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Friday, March 18, 2016

Jury Convicts Rochester Man Of Drug And Firearms Charges

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has found Willie Harris, 46, of Rochester, NY, guilty of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of ammunition and a firearm. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $2,000,000 or both.                

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Moynihan, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on June 10, 2014, Harris was arrested at 49 Troup Street in Rochester after agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers of the Rochester Police Department executed a search warrant in one of the apartments at that address.

Prior to executing the search warrant, Harris spoke with officers and told them he had a short-barreled “rifle” and cocaine inside his apartment. Once inside of the location, officers found four bags of cocaine, as well a digital scale commonly used to measure drugs for distribution, small ziplock bags and approximately $180.00 in United States currency. Officers also located a Mossberg 500 C slide action shotgun, the barrel of which had been sawed-off to a length of 16 and 1/8 inches. Ammunition was also found with the shotgun.

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent in Charge, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford who presided over the trial of the case. 

Updated March 21, 2016