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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 9, 2020

Rochester Man Going To Prison For More Than 21 Years For His Role In Drug Trafficking Organization: Shot At Both Law Enforcers And Rival Gang Members

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Obed Torres Garcia, 23, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin, and using, carrying and discharging firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, was sentenced to serve 255 months in prison by Chief 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 case, stated that between 2015 and January 29, 2018, the defendant was part of a drug trafficking organization led by Carlos Javier Figueroa, which was responsible for the transportation and sale of cocaine and heroin, and for acts of violence in furtherance of the organization’s drug trade, including an exchange of gunshots with members of the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce (G.R.A.N.E.T.). Various locations throughout Rochester were utilized to receive, store, and sell the supply of illegal narcotics, which were shipped from Puerto Rico.

As an active member of the Figueroa drug trafficking organization, Garcia, among other things, packaged cocaine and heroin for distribution, and personally distributed significant quantities of cocaine and heroin. Also, in furtherance of the conspiracy, the defendant and other members of the organization used and maintained a residence at 820 East Main Street in Rochester, for the purpose of packaging, storing, and distributing quantities of cocaine and heroin. Between December 2017 and January 29, 2018, Garcia lived in the apartment, which Figueroa paid for in exchange for the defendant’s work for the organization. 

On January 29, 2018, at 6 Burbank Street in Rochester, Garcia discharged a handgun in the direction of G.R.A.N.E.T. officers who were attempting to execute a search warrant at that location. Officers, who the defendant admits were justified in their use of force, exchanged fire and Garcia suffered a traumatic brain injury from a gunshot wound. As a result of the traumatic brain injury, the defendant has no memory of the events that day, but after reviewing the evidence collected as part of the government’s investigation, Garcia admitted his involvement in it. In addition to admitting his role in these police involved shooting, defendant also admitted that in December 2016, while distributing heroin in the vicinity of the Valero gas station located near the intersection of Clinton Avenue and Hoeltzer Street in Rochester, he shot a 9 mm handgun at rival drug dealers.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Violent Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan; 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan; the Brighton Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Catholdi; and U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent-in-Charge Eduardo Payan.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated November 9, 2020