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Press Release

Leader Of Violent Rochester Drug Ring Sentenced To Life In Prison For Drug And Gun Charges, And Murder

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 Trini E. Ross announced today that Carlos Javier Figueroa a/k/a Javi, a/k/a Big Bro, 44, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted following a federal jury trial of narcotics conspiracy, possession and discharge of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and murder while engaged in narcotics conspiracy, was sentenced to serve life in prison plus 25 years by U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Marangola, Cassie M. Kocher, and Katelyn M. Hartford, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that Figueroa was the leader of a Rochester-based drug trafficking organization that was involved in the transportation and sale of cocaine in the City of Rochester and responsible for acts of violence in furtherance of the organization’s drug trade. These acts of violence included the September 12, 2016, shooting death of Walter Ross at the corner of Burbank Street and North Clinton Avenue. Figueroa provided the 9mm handgun that co-defendant Jonathan Cruz-Carmona used to murder Walter Ross. The gun was also used by co-defendant Obed Torres Garcia to shoot at police officers on Burbank Street when they attempted to raid Figueroa’s residence on January 29, 2018. 

Various locations throughout Rochester were utilized to receive, store, and sell the supply of illegal narcotics. Figueroa coordinated shipments of cocaine from Puerto Rico, which were sent to locations in Rochester via the United States Postal Service (USPS). Once the packages arrived in Rochester, the cocaine was broken down and packaged for sale. On January 29, 2018, during the execution of state search warrants, investigators seized more than $700,000 in cash, six assault rifles, three loaded handguns, over four kilograms of cocaine, and a quantity of suspected heroin and fentanyl.   

A total of 12 defendants were charged and convicted in this case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Interim Chief David Smith; the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRANET), under the direction of Lieutenant Robert Hill; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Sandra Doorley; the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Wood; and U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Chief Patrol Agent Thomas G. Martin.

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Updated May 11, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime