DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Rochester Man Sentenced in Firebombing Case

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Taj R. Williams, 33, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted after a jury trial of arson and unlawful possession of Molotov cocktails, was sentenced to 104 months in prison by U.S.

District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on January 18, 2015, Williams used a tire iron to shatter the front glass door of the Chili Express Mini Mart located at 989 Chili Avenue in Rochester. The defendant then removed three Molotov cocktails from a bag, each of which he lit and threw inside the store. All of the devices exploded, causing extensive fire damage to the interior structure and its merchandise.

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

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New York Field Division