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Armed drug trafficker in Rochester pleads guilty

STAFF REPORTS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Phillip Taylor, 28, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, and a fine of $2,000,000 or both.
         
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who is handling the case, stated that Taylor, a two-time convicted felon, was arrested following a police investigation which took Rochester Police officers to 173 Anderson Avenue to investigate a report of a person dropping a handgun in the parking lot of the business located there. When officers arrived, they saw a person, later identified as Taylor, get into the driver’s seat of a blue Ford Escape and drive off after officers went to speak with him about the reported handgun. The defendant drove his car in the direction of one of the responding officers, coming within inches before driving away. Taylor also struck a brick structure with his vehicle as he exited the parking lot and continued traveling westbound on Anderson Avenue as officers pursued him. Officers followed Taylor in police cars onto College Avenue where the defendant struck a tree.

Undeterred, Taylor continued to flee on foot with officers in pursuit. During the chase, officers could see the defendant holding the right side of his pants while making several attempts to remove something from his pants pocket. Taylor was taken into custody in the area of 100 College Avenue. Officers searched the defendant and recovered a loaded .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun in his pocket, $704 in cash, and 12 vials containing cocaine.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 4, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. before Judge Geraci.