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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty Drug Trafficking And Gun Possession Charges

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jose Guerra Caraballo, 43 of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life and a $2,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola who is handling the case, stated that between November 2014 and January 2015, law enforcement officers investigated Caraballo and his brother, Jose Miguel Guerra. Controlled purchases of cocaine were arranged and completed between Caraballo and a confidential source. On one occasion a purchase of cocaine, heroin and firearm were discussed. Guerra was to supply the firearm. On January 21, 2015, the confidential source met Caraballo and Guerra to purchase the cocaine, heroin and firearm. The confidential source met Caraballo and Guerra briefly and was shown the firearm and told that they had to go get cocaine.

Caraballo and Guerra were surveilled leaving the area and then observed entering 264 Clifford Avenue in Rochester. Caraballo then called the confidential source and told him he had the cocaine. Several minutes later, Caraballo and Guerra met with the confidential source in a parking lot at 341 E. Ridge Road. They were subsequently arrested by members of the Rochester Police Department. During the search of the vehicle Caraballo and Guerra were in, officers recovered a ROHM. 38 Special revolver, 12 live rounds of .38 Special ammunition, approximately 12.5 grams of heroin, 33 grams of cocaine, marijuana and new/unused glassine bags.

Later that day, officers executed search warrants at 15 Bardin Street, a residence leased by Guerra, and 264 Clifford Avenue, locations identified during the investigation. Law enforcement recovered various items including, a firearm, ammunition, cash, drugs and drug paraphernalia.

During a post-arrest statement, Guerra told officers he and Caraballo picked up cocaine from a location, later identified to be 264 Clifford Avenue that day. Guerra was convicted of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of life, a fine of $250,000 or both. Guerra is awaiting sentencing on July 13, 2015.

Today’s conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Caraballo’s sentencing is scheduled for October 19, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

Updated June 17, 2015