U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
(716) 843-5700
September 16, 2014

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Charges Involving Stolen Property

BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Brandon Meade, 27, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport and transfer stolen property with an aggregate value of $5000 in interstate commerce before District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott S. Allen, Jr. and Anthony M. Bruce, who are handling the case, stated that the defendant ran East Side Gold and Car Audio, a pawn shop located at the corner of North Goodman and Clifford Avenues in Rochester. In that role, Meade assisted several other individuals, including do-defendant Rico J. Vendetti, in obtaining over $350,000 in merchandise. The merchandise was obtained through organized rings of shoplifters who stole from big box stores such as Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Tops and Wegmans. The merchandise was then allegedly sold by Vendetti on eBay for about half of its retail value.

Vendetti, along with Arlene Combs, Albert Parsons, and Donald Griffin, all of Rochester, N.Y., are charged with felony murder in the death of 78-year old Homer Marciniak during the course of a home invasion robbery at Marciniak’s home in Medina, N.Y. in July, 2010. In addition, Vendetti and Combs are charged with racketeering, which includes the murder, witness tampering and transporting stolen goods in interstate commerce. If convicted of the felony murder charge, Vendetti, Combs, Parsons and Griffin face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

According to the indictment, Vendetti, Combs, Parsons and Griffin planned and carried out a July 5, 2010 home invasion robbery at Marciniak’s Medina home. During the robbery, Marciniak’s valuable collection of collectible comic books was stolen and Marciniak was beaten. Several hours after being treated for bruises and lacerations suffered during the robbery and released from the hospital, Marciniak was readmitted to the hospital where he died of a heart attack.

Vendetti is scheduled to be tired in front of Judge Aracara in December. Charges are pending against defendants Combs, Parsons, and Griffin. 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.

The Indictment is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Scott Crosier, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Scott Hess, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, the Medina Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jose Avila and Officers from the Rochester Police Department under the direction of Chief James Sheppard.

Sentencing is scheduled January 12, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

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