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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
Friday, April 21, 2023

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine and Gun Charges

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Christian G. Cruz, 25, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who is handling the case, stated that on August 2, 2022, in the area of 1248 N. Clinton Avenue in Rochester, police officers observed Cruz showing a firearm to another male. When officers approached Cruz, they observed the outline of a firearm in his pocket and asked for identification. Cruz reached towards his pocket where the gun was, so the officers grabbed his arms, eventually taking him into custody after a brief struggle. Officers found the loaded handgun in the pocket of Cruz’s shorts. They also found 61 small plastic vials of cocaine, four wax paper envelopes containing fentanyl, and a knotted sandwich bag containing cocaine, in another pocket.

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 August 24, 2023, at 9:15 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.

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