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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York
Trini E. Ross, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 24, 2023

Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Firearm

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Maurice Chatman, 42, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen to being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who is handling the case, stated that on August 3, 2022, Rochester Police Officers responded to Post Avenue and Aberdeen Street after receiving a report of a male standing at the corner holding a gun. Officers also learned that the male was seen walking down Aberdeen Street carrying the gun. Subsequently, Chatman was observed standing in front of 91 Aberdeen Street holding a rifle. Officers went to 91 Aberdeen Street and confronted Chatman in the driveway. They observed the rifle nearby on top of a folding table. Officers arrested Chatman and seized the rifle. Chatman was previously convicted of felonies in 1997, 2004, 2011, and 2015, and is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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 plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Smith and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 26, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.

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