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Rochester Man Pleads Guilty To Fentanyl And Gun Charges

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 T. Stephens, 21, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and being a felon in possession of  a firearm. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie Kocher, who is handling the case, stated that on June 19, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home. During the search, officers recovered a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol, a loaded shotgun, approximately 80 decks of fentanyl, and approximately four bags of cocaine. Stephens was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his January 15, 2016, conviction, in Onondaga County Court, for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Office.

The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.

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