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Justice News

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Three Pennsylvania Men Indicted On Carjacking And Gun Charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Dimas Colon-Cruz, 36, Denis Cruz, 29, and Michael Gonzalez-Colon, 20, all of Erie, Pennsylvania, with carjacking, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and interstate transportation of stolen property. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, on July 20, 2015, the defendants traveled 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 their means of transportation.

Subsequently, the defendants assaulted an individual (Victim 1) in the vicinity of Robin and Second Streets in Dunkirk. The defendants brandished firearms during the assault, struck Victim 1 in the face during the assault and stole several items from Victim 1. Almost immediately after Victim 1 was assaulted, a second victim (Victim 2) was assaulted by the defendants in the vicinity of 209 Robin Street. After exiting a car, Victim 2 was approached by the defendants and ordered to lie on the ground at which time the victim was struck in the head with a handgun. Following the assault, the defendants 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.

The indictment 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.

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.

Updated September 19, 2016