DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 4, 2015
William J. Hochul, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Arson

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Eddie L. Vaughn, a/k/a Elbow, 35, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to arson of a commercial building and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 30 years, a fine of $500,000 or both. Vaughn also agreed to forfeit a sawed-off shotgun and rounds of ammunition seized in connection with the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that on September 22, 2013, Vaughn threw a Molotov cocktail into the Miami Deli Grocery at 176 Genesee Street in Rochester. The Molotov cocktail landed on the floor of the store and exploded, spreading fire throughout the building. Both the interior and exterior of the store were burned and extensively damaged.

The Miami Deli Grocery was a business which routinely purchased and sold goods from suppliers within and outside the state of New York and the United States. As such, the building was used in interstate and foreign commerce, giving rise to the federal arson investigation and prosecution.

In addition, between June 20 and June 26, 2014, the defendant possessed a firearm and ammunition after having been previously convicted of four felonies.

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Arson Task Force, which is comprised of Investigators of the Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, and Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 2, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Geraci.

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Field Division: New York Field Division