U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
(716) 843-5700
October 26, 2015

Rochester Woman Arrested on Gun Charge

ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Tatiana Starling, 19, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in connection with her knowing and unlawful possession of a firearm which had been stolen from a residence at 1070 Lake Avenue in Rochester. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on July 29, 2015, Starling was the get-away driver after her boyfriend, Johnny Blackshell, along with Ramel Robinson, unlawfully entered the residence at 1070 Lake Avenue and stole a gun safe containing three firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition. The defendant is also accused of driving the men to another location to dispose of the safe after the firearms were removed.

The stolen firearms included an AK-47, a .40 caliber carbine rifle and a 12 gauge single shot shotgun. The AK-47 was later recovered by police hidden under the front porch of a residence on Clay Avenue. The gun has been linked ballistically to the gun used in the mass shooting at the Boys and Girls Club on August 19, 2015.

On September 16, 2015, Blackshell was formally charged in New York state court with Murder 1st Degree relating to that event. Ramel Robinson faces federal charges of unlawful possession of the firearms stolen from 1070 Lake Avenue. The shotgun was later recovered at a residence on Phelps Avenue, leading to the arrest of Joseph Lowry on a separate federal gun charge. The current location of the .40 caliber is unknown.

Starling will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson on November 10, 2015.

“As we have stated before, this office will aggressively prosecute those who commit violent crimes, as well as those who assist such predators,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

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.

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