ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Marcos D. Guzman, 36, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to making fraudulent representations about the receipt of military medals before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who is handling the case, stated that Guzman lied to the U.S. Probation Office about his military service and being awarded two Purple Hearts in order to try to get a lower sentence on two pending firearms offenses. Specifically, the defendant lied about serving in the United States National Guard, being deployed to Iraq for 18 months, and receiving two Purple Hearts for saving another soldier on the battlefield in Iraq. Guzman provided photographs to the U.S. Probation Office that purported to show the two Purple Heart certificates. The Purple Heart certificates were fake.
In April 2019, Guzman was convicted of theft of firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, after stealing approximately 87 firearms from Chinappi’s Firearms & Supplies, a gun store on West Ridge Road in Spencerport, NY. Co-defendants Dakota Sarfaty and Luis D. Marcano-Agosto have also been convicted. Many of the firearms were sold on the streets of Rochester.
“As our Nation comes together to celebrate July 4th, we also reflect on those brave men and women of the military who made, and who continue to make, sacrifices so that we may enjoy the blessings of liberty,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “For a convicted armed felon and thief to attempt to receive leniency for his criminal acts by fraudulently cloaking himself in an honor reserved for our bravest of military heroes is the antithesis of honor and conduct which is deserving of special recognition—in the form of its very own criminal conviction.”
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 John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary; the VA Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Algieri; and the Yates County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Ron Spike.
Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced for both the firearms offenses and lying about the military medals on August 12, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.