DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Rochester Man Sentenced to Life in Prison Plus 10 Years for Conviction of Narcotics and Firearms Offenses in a Case Involving Two Murders

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced
today that Angelo Ocasio, 42, of Rochester, NY was sentenced to life in prison plus 10
years for his involvement in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy and for his involvement
in a shooting and murder of Meosha Harmon at 137 Cameron Street in July 2009.
 
According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Everardo A. Rodriguez and Melissa M.
Marangola, who handled the prosecution of the case, Ocasio was charged along with 10
other defendants in connection with a long-term and violent narcotics trafficking ring in
the City of Rochester headed by James Kendrick and his brother Pablo "Paul" Plaza.
Angelo Ocasio distributed drugs for the organization, but his principal role was that of
enforcer who used violence against rival drug dealers, disloyal workers and any other who
posed a danger to the conspiracy or its members. In late July 2009, Ocasio and one of his
coconspirators Damion Colabatistto went to 137 Cameron Street looking to murder a rival
drug dealer at that location. When someone came to an upstairs window of the residence,
Ocasio and Colabatistto fired a total of approximately 11 shots at the person. As it turned
out, the person at the window was Meosha Harmon who had moved into the residence after
the targeted drug dealer had moved out. Harmon, who was 21 years at the time of her death
and the mother of two young children, died as a result of gunshot wounds to her head.
 
In addition to Ocasio, nine of his co-defendants have also been convicted of multiple
drug distribution and firearms offenses. Five defendants, in addition to Ocasio, have been
convicted in connection with three other murders committed by members of the conspiracy.
Francisco Santos was murdered in October 1998, his body was found in May 1999 buried
on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Erie County, N.Y. The second murder charged
was that of their relative Ryan Cooper between May and July 1999. Cooper’s body has
never been found. Finally, Jose Troche was murdered on January 14, 2010, in Rochester.
After a six-week trial, James Kendrick was found guilty of various narcotics and firearms
offenses and of the murders of Francisco Santos and of Ryan Cooper and sentenced to life
in prison plus 30 years. Pablo Plaza was found guilty for the murder of Ryan Cooper and
sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. In sentencing both defendants, Judge Geraci found
that they were also responsible for the murder of Jose Troche.
 
The sentencing of Ocasio is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan
Benedict, New York Field Division, and the Rochester Police Department, under the
direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.
 
###
Field Division: New York Field Division