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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rochester Man Sentenced To Life In Prison Plus 10 Years For Conviction Of Narcotics And Firearms Offenses In A Case Involving Two Murders

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Angelo Ocasio, 42, of Rochester, NY was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years for his involvement in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy and for his involvement in a shooting and murder of Meosha Harmon at 137 Cameron Street in July 2009.  

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Everardo A. Rodriguez and Melissa M. Marangola, who handled the prosecution of the case, Ocasio was charged along with 10 other defendants in connection with a long-term and violent narcotics trafficking ring in the City of Rochester headed by James Kendrick and his brother Pablo "Paul" Plaza. Angelo Ocasio distributed drugs for the organization, but his principal role was that of enforcer who used violence against rival drug dealers, disloyal workers and any other who posed a danger to the conspiracy or its members.  In late July 2009, Ocasio and one of his coconspirators Damion Colabatistto went to 137 Cameron Street looking to murder a rival drug dealer at that location.  When someone came to an upstairs window of the residence, Ocasio and Colabatistto fired a total of approximately 11 shots at the person.  As it turned out, the person at the window was Meosha Harmon who had moved into the residence after the targeted drug dealer had moved out.  Harmon, who was 21 years at the time of her death and the mother of two young children, died as a result of gunshot wounds to her head.

In addition to Ocasio, nine of his co-defendants have also been convicted of multiple drug distribution and firearms offenses.  Five defendants, in addition to Ocasio, have been convicted in connection with three other murders committed by members of the conspiracy. Francisco Santos was murdered in October 1998, his body was found in May 1999 buried on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Erie County, N.Y. The second murder charged was that of their relative Ryan Cooper between May and July 1999.  Cooper’s body has never been found.  Finally, Jose Troche was murdered on January 14, 2010, in Rochester. After a six-week trial, James Kendrick was found guilty of various narcotics and firearms offenses and of the murders of Francisco Santos and of Ryan Cooper and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. Pablo Plaza was found guilty for the murder of Ryan Cooper and sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. In sentencing both defendants, Judge Geraci found that they were also responsible for the murder of Jose Troche.

The sentencing of Ocasio is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Updated January 24, 2017