For Immediate Release
Two Men Sentenced to more than 100 Years in Prison for Masterminding String of Violent Home Invasions
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Matthew Nix, 37, of Rochester, NY, and Earl McCoy, 36, of Brooklyn, NY, who carried out a series of violent home invasions in the Rochester, NY area, were sentenced to 155 years and 135 years in prison respectively by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The defendants were convicted following a federal jury trial of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery; attempted Hobbs Act robbery; Hobbs Act robbery; carrying and brandishing firearms during crime of violence; narcotics conspiracy; carrying firearms during drug trafficking crime; and possessing firearms as convicted felon.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Marangola and Everardo A. Rodriguez, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the defendants were the leaders of a group of criminals who engaged in armed home invasions of individuals they believed were drug dealers, as well as a jewelry wholesaler in the Town of Greece. The group included Jecovious Barnes, Jessica Moscicki as well as McCoy’s younger brothers Clarence Lambert and Gary Lambert. All four have been convicted. Nix and McCoy identified and obtained information about victims and locations, brought accomplices to the locations, supplied firearms to accomplices, and distributed property stolen from home invasions. McCoy and other accomplices entered the locations brandishing firearms. They restrained the victims at gunpoint, and in some instances, bound them with plastic zip-ties and pistol-whipped them, demanding drugs and money. The defendants ransacked the residences, flipping over beds, yanking out drawers looking for large quantities of drugs and cash. They stole drugs, cash, cell phones, and even guns from locations. Nix, McCoy and their co-defendants also perpetrated the home invasion at the home of a jewelry wholesaler, stealing $200,000 in luxury watches, diamonds and cash. Specifically:
- On September 15, 2014, at a residence in Rochester, Clarence Lambert, Earl McCoy and Matthew Nix stole property from two victims against their will. Lambert and McCoy broke open a locked screen door to the residence, brandished firearms, and demanded money and drugs from the victims, who they mistakenly believed were drug dealers. The victims were zip-tied at gunpoint, and one was pistol-whipped while the defendants searched the residence. After finding no money or drugs, Lambert and McCoy stole a cell phone and fled the residence and the victims called the police.
- On September 18, 2014, Nix and McCoy brought Clarence Lambert and Jecovious Barnes to another residence in Rochester of what they believed to be a drug dealer. Nix and McCoy expected to find a stash of illegal pills and cash inside the residence. Lambert and Barnes stormed inside the location brandishing handguns and restrained the two victims at gunpoint, demanded money and drugs, and searched the residence. After finding no stash of money or drugs, Lambert and Barnes stole two cell phones and then left with Nix and McCoy, who were waiting outside.
- On the morning of September 23, 2014, Nix and McCoy drove Clarence Lambert, Jecovious Barnes, and Jessica Moscicki another Rochester residence to break in and steal marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and cash. Lambert and Barnes, carrying a firearm, broke into the unoccupied residence and stole cash, marijuana, firearms and other items from inside.
- On October 7, 2014, Nix and McCoy and their accomplices went to the home of a jeweler in the Town of Greece. The jeweler’s business involved buying and selling and luxury watches, all of which were made outside the United States. While Nix and McCoy waited nearby, their accomplices stormed the residence, carrying and brandishing at least one firearm and other weapons. They threatened to kill the jeweler and his wife and demanded money and access to the safe. The victims were pistol-whipped and sustained serious injuries. The men stole luxury watches, diamonds, jewelry and cash worth over $200,000 in total, including numerous men’s and ladies’ Rolex watches. After fleeing the residence, the accomplices met Nix and McCoy and gave them the stolen property. Nix and McCoy paid their accomplices in cash and stolen watches.
“There is a legal maxim which states that, ‘A man’s home is his castle,’” noted Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “With today’s sentencings comes a corollary to that maxim, ‘If you violate the sanctity of the castle, then you will spend a long time in, if not the dungeon, federal prison.’ Thanks to the tremendous cooperative work done by our federal, state, and local partners, the citizens of Rochester and Monroe County, will hopefully rest a little easier knowing that these individuals won’t be around to break into their homes anytime soon.”
Today’s sentencings are the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Ashan Benedict; Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Richard Allen; and the Rochester Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.