ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Three Rochester men were arrested on gun and drug trafficking charges, court officials announced Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, the men were arrested following separate crimes that were not connected to each other. If convicted all three face at least 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Joshua Massey, 32, was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of with intent to distribute cocaine.
His charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, with a maximum penalty of life and a fine of $1,000,000. Prosecutors say that on July 30, RPD officers responded to an Oneida Street residence for the report of someone menacing with a firearm.
Officers spoke with a victim, who alleged that Massey pulled up in a car, parked, got out and drew a handgun, pointing at the victim and another individual, threatening to shoot. Both individuals ran into a residence, and Massey got into his car and drove away.
Prosecutors say that while officers were speaking with the first victim, Massey drove by, and the victim immediately shouted “that’s him.”
Officers then started chasing Massey by car, but were unable to catch up with him before he crashed his vehicle on the corner of Perkins Avenue and Norran Drive. He then exited the vehicle and fled on foot, and was taken into custody shortly after, according to officials.
Massey was found with a loaded 9mm pistol and approximately 39 bags of suspected cocaine.
Michael Morris, 37, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In May 2021, prosecutors say that Morris was involved in an altercation at a corner store on North Street in Rochester. Two groups of men began exchanging words, pushing and shoving one another, which escalated.
Morris and another individual pulled out firearms and exchanged gunfire outside the store before fleeing the area. RPD officers found a cartridge from Morris’s pistol, as well as video footage of the incident from the store security cameras, which allowed them to identify Morris as one of the three shooters.
Morris, who has three prior felony convictions, is prohibited from possessing ammunition, the DA said.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7th.
Christian Cruz of Rochester was charged by criminal complaint with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Those charges carry a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
According to police records, on Aug. 2, officers spotted Cruz standing on the sidewalk displaying a firearm to another male. After stopping their vehicle and approaching Cruz, the officers observed what they believed to be the outline of a firearm in the man’s left front shorts pocket. The suspect attempted to pull out his ID from the pocket which led officers to grab his arms in an attempt to stop him from getting the weapon.
Following a scuffle with the man, responding officers were able to remove a loaded .380 caliber handgun along with quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine and suspected fentanyl and heroin.
All three men await a secondary round of pre-trials and are currently being held in jail.