ALBANY, NEW YORK – Following a four-day trial, a jury today found Romano McCain, age 48, of Halfmoon, New York, guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person and two counts of interstate transmission of threats to injure another person.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and Chief David Keevern of the North Greenbush Police Department.
This case marked the first federal criminal trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York since the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in New York, and elsewhere, in mid-March 2020.
The evidence at trial established that in January 2020, McCain and a man had a dispute over the man’s failure to pay $65 for a motorcycle vest. In demanding payment on January 10, 2020, McCain sent the man Facebook messages threatening, “Bro..just have my money….i play with guns..no fighting….and i always have one on me…you on that bs….pay me pay money,” followed by, “i will blow your [expletive] head off.”
Later in the month, McCain had a falling out with another man over money McCain owed the man. On January 31, 2020, McCain sent the second man a Facebook message threatening, “I will kill your dauther..bro..i dont know me….we at the strip in morning..be there…me and my girl…with the heat..see you there.” The man had an infant daughter at the time and “heat” was slang for a gun.
The evidence showed that “the Strip” is an area on River Road in North Greenbush, New York, where motorsport enthusiasts rode ATVs, dirt bikes, and motorcycles. On February 23, 2020, McCain went to the Strip with his girlfriend, was in a fistfight, and then retrieved a rifle from his girlfriend’s truck, which he fired in the direction of a crowd of people; no one was injured in the shooting.
Five days later, in the early-morning hours of February 28, 2020, the ATF and other law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at McCain’s girlfriend’s house in Latham, New York, where McCain had spent the previous night. In searching a box chest at the foot of the bed in the bedroom, agents discovered a loaded .38 special caliber revolver. A box of ammunition for the revolver was discovered under a couch in the living room. In a number of text messages, McCain threatened the use of firearms and referenced his possession of firearms with his girlfriend, including after the shooting on February 23, when he texted: “We got alot [sic] of guns.” At the time he possessed the revolver and ammunition, McCain was subject to a domestic violence restraining order issued by the Albany City Court in June 2019.
At sentencing scheduled for September 28, 2021, before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino, McCain faces up to 10 years in prison on the firearm and ammunition conviction; up to 5 years in prison on each of the threat convictions; a fine of up to $250,000; and a term of post-release supervision of up to 3 years.
This case was investigated by the ATF, North Greenbush Police Department, and Colonie Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cyrus P.W. Rieck and Rachel Williams.