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Rochester man pleads guilty to possessing a gun a day after being released from prison

STAFF REPORTS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Erick Arroyo-Cruz, 34, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who is handling the case, stated that on March 8, 2018, just one day after his release from prison on another offense, the defendant possessed a .22 caliber pistol which was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition. Cruz was traveling in a vehicle on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester when Rochester Police Officers stopped the car to execute an existing arrest warrant for the driver of the vehicle. The defendant, who was a passenger in the car, was searched and officers found the loaded pistol in his jacket pocket.

Cruz was released from prison on March 7, 2018, having previously been convicted  in state court of 1st degree knowingly possessing dangerous contraband in prison.

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

Sentencing is scheduled for November 14, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. before Chief Judge Geraci.