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Press Release

Rochester Man Arrested, Accused Of Setting Off Explosive Devices In A City Neighborhood

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 James A. Pane, 50, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with using the mails to threaten to attempt to kill, injure, or intimidate or unlawfully damage or destroy property by means of explosive, and mailing threatening communications. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.   

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who is handling the case, stated that according to the criminal complaint, between January 20 and February 2, 2021, numerous explosions were heard and seen by neighbors living in the area of Falleson Road in the City of Rochester. After responding to reports of explosions by residents on Leander Road near Falleson Road, the Rochester Fire and Police Departments, on January 23, 2021, responded to the area to investigate what may have caused the explosions. Officers noted that they believed at least one of the explosions took place in front of a residence on nearby Falleson Road. On February 2, 2021, numerous neighbors called 911 around 2:37 a.m., after another boom noise shook the neighboring houses. Investigators obtained doorbell surveillance video from the area and observed a dark-reddish-colored pick-up truck in the area at the time of the explosions. Subsequent investigation determined that a residence on Falleson Road was the target of the explosions. One occupant of the residence told investigators that he had a falling out with a lifelong friend identified as the defendant. A records check determined that Pane drives a red pick-up truck. 

Between February 24, 2021, and March 9, 2021, investigators were notified that numerous neighbors in the Falleson Road/Leander Road neighborhood received letters addressed to the “homeowner.” The envelopes were plain white envelopes with no return address. Inside each envelope was a single piece of regular sized white paper with large printed words stating: “I don’t mean to bother you people in this neighborhood. But the little (expletive) crack head at *** Falleson owes me a lot of money for drugs. He is a liar and a thief. He burned down his fathers cottage in the 1000 island for the insurance money, which he was suppose to pay me off with. He didn’t. I will keep throwing bombs off in his yard until he the cops they won’t catch me.”  During the investigation, law enforcement officers recovered a list of addresses from the defendant’s garbage tote. The list included a number of the Falleson and Leander Road residences that received the letters. 

On April 8, 2021, a search warrant was executed on Pane’s Harding Road residence and his red pick-up truck. Investigators recovered materials used in assembling the explosive devices. The defendant was arrested following the execution of the search warrants.

Pane made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and was held pending a detention hearing on April 13, 2021.

The complaint 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, New York Field Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan, the Rochester Fire Department, under the direction of Chief Felipe Hernandez Jr., and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard. Additional assistance was provided by the Buffalo and Syracuse Resident Offices of the ATF. 

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.  

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Updated April 9, 2021

Violent Crime