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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
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Rochester Man Going to Prison for Planning the Robbery by Gunpoint of a Cell Phone Store

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that James A. Houston a/k/a Hood, 36, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, was sentenced to serve 84 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa.

Assistant U.S. Robert A. Marangola, who handled the case, stated Houston, along with co-defendants Troy L. McCullough, Raekwon D. Fuqua, and others, robbed the AT&T store on E. Ridge Road in Irondequoit on December 3, 2019. Defendant McCullough entered the store wearing a mask and gloves and brandishing and pointing a firearm at a store employee, ordering the employee to open the store safe. McCullough and co-defendant Fuqua then stole approximately 32 cellular phones from the safe and left the store. The telephones were valued at approximately $32,344. James Houston planned the robbery, enlisted others to participate, made arrangements to sell the stolen cell phones, and conducted surveillance outside the store before and during the robbery. The stolen cell phones were recovered at a residence on Champlain Street in Rochester.

McCullough and Fuqua were previously convicted and sentenced to serve 262 months and 64 months in prison respectively.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Smith and the Irondequoit Police Department, under the direction of Chief Alan Laird.

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