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A 37-year old resident of Rochester pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to the felony charge of felon in possession of ammunition. He was sentenced to a prison term of 71 months to be served in the United States Bureau of Prisons. He was also ordered to serve a term of supervised release of three years.
Billy B. Sanders was arrested on May 2, 2019, after officers from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, or New York State Parole, went to Sander’s residence at 227 Saratoga Avenue, in the City of Rochester, for the compliance check. During the check, parole officers found a backpack hanging from a pull-up bar fastened to the doorway between the living room and the kitchen. Inside the backpack, parole officers found a small plastic bag containing powder which ultimately returned a positive result for cocaine when a police officer from the Rochester Police Department performed a field test. Parole officers also found a Polymer 80 semiautomatic pistol which was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition. The handgun did not have a serial number on it. During his plea, Sanders admitted he possessed the handgun and the ammunition found inside because he had been shot and needed the handgun for protection.
Sanders also admitted that he had previously been convicted in April of 2004 in United States District Court for the Western District of New York of Possession of Cocaine Base with Intent to Distribute and Carrying and Brandishing a Firearm During and In Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, felony convictions for which he received a 105 month prison term.
During the same plea, Sander also admitted that he also had previously been convicted in May of 2004 in Monroe County Court of the felony crime of Robbery in the First Degree and received a sentence of 12 years in prison.
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 sentence is the result of an investigation by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Rochester Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.