Prior Felon Arrested On Drug And Gun Charges | USAO-WDNY

CONTACT: Barbara Burns   
PHONE:       (716) 843-5817 
FAX #:          (716) 551-3051  

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Paul D. James, Jr., 31, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carry and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie Kocher, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on April 29, 2022, Rochester Police officers responded to the area of 212 Saratoga Street for a report of four gunshots being fired in the area. While driving to the area, an officer observed a male that he knew from previous contacts as James, who was found to be in possession of a revolver that contained a live round of ammunition and four spent or empty casings in the cylinder. James also possessed 34 small bags of suspected cocaine. James was convicted in February 2015, in Monroe County Court of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second degree and is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

James made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and is being detained.  

The case was brought by the U.S. 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 criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Interim Chief David Smith and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito, New York Field Division.      

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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