Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty To Carjacking And Gun Charges
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dimas Colon-Cruz, 37, of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated on July 20, 2015, the defendant traveled with co-defendants Michael Gonzalez-Colon and Denis Cruz, from Erie, Pennsylvania to Dunkirk, NY, on stolen all-terrain vehicles. Shortly after arriving in Dunkirk, the ATV's were seized by the Dunkirk Police Department leaving the defendants without transportation.
Subsequently, the defendant and his codefendants assaulted an individual (Victim 1) near Robin and Second Streets in Dunkirk. The trio brandished firearms during the assault, struck Victim 1 in the face and stole several items from Victim 1. Almost immediately after Victim 1 was assaulted, a second victim (Victim 2) was assaulted by the defendant and his codefendants near 209 Robin Street. After exiting a car, Victim 2 was approached by the defendant and his codefendants and ordered to kneel on the ground at which time the victim was struck in the head with a handgun. Following the assault, the defendant and his codefendants stole Victim 2’s car, a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am. Also on July 20, 2015, Lakeside Lawncare in Fredonia, NY, was burglarized and several items were stolen including a gray 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck. On July 22, 2015, both the 2004 Pontiac Grand Am and the 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck were recovered in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Michael Gonzalez-Colon has been convicted and sentenced. Charges are pending against Denis Cruz. 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.
Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by the Dunkirk Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Ortolano; the Erie, Pennsylvania Police Department, under the direction of Chief Randy Bowers; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Steven Nigrelli; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 25, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.