DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 25, 2021
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Felon Sentenced for Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Javarus Payne, 34, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was arrested on August 29, 2020, after officers from the Rochester Police Department and troopers from the New York State Police conducted a traffic stop of  a car defendant was driving on East Main Street in Rochester. As officers spoke with Payne, they smelled alcohol coming from inside the car, and also noticed a black semiautomatic handgun on the driver’s floor. The officers seized the loaded handgun, which had been reported stolen in Pennsylvania.

Payne was convicted in federal court in February 2012 of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and was under the supervision of the United States Probation Department at the time of this arrest. As a result, he is legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. 

The matter was brought by the United States 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.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Barry Chase; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

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New York Field Division