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Press Release

Member Of Rochester Drug Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty To Murdering A Rival Drug Dealer

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 Jonathan Cruz-Carmona, a/k/a Tapon, a/k/a Eneno, 29, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to murder with a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katelyn M. Hartford, Cassie M. Kocher, and Robert A. Marangola, who are handling the case, stated that between 2015 and January 29, 2018, the defendant was a member of a Rochester drug trafficking organization run by co-defendant Carlos Javier Figueroa. The organization was responsible for selling cocaine and heroin in Rochester in the areas of Clinton Avenue, Burbank Street, LaForce Street, and Conkey Avenue. Carmona packaged, sold, and distributed quantities of cocaine and heroin, and acted as an enforcer to protect the interests of the organization.

On September 12, 2016, the defendant observed Walter Ross, a rival drug dealer, in the area of Clinton Avenue and Burbank Street in Rochester. Carmona had previously warned Ross not to sell drugs in that neighborhood because it was part of the Figueroa organization’s territory. At the direction of Carlos Javier Figueroa, the defendant approached the car Ross was sitting in at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Burbank Street, and shot several times through the window, striking and killing Ross.

Charges remain pending against Carlos Javier Figueroa. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea 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 Chief La’Ron Singletary; 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 Patrick Phelan; and U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent-in-Charge Eduardo Payan.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 8, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Geraci.   

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Updated May 29, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime