CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Javarus Payne, 34, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was arrested on August 29, 2020, after officers from the Rochester Police Department and troopers from the New York State Police stopped a car defendant was driving on East Main Street in Rochester for committing several traffic infractions. As officers spoke with Payne, they smelled alcohol coming from inside the car, and also noticed a black semiautomatic handgun on the driver’s floor. The officers seized the loaded handgun, which had been reported stolen in Pennsylvania.
Payne was convicted in federal court in February 2012 of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and was under the supervision of the United States Probation Department at the time of this arrest. As a result, he is legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
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 Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Barry Chase; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Larimer.
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