Press Release, Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. Western District of New York
BUFFALO – Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Albert William Parsons, 47, of Rochester,who was convicted of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who handled the case, said that co-defendants Rico Vendetti and Arlene Combs hired three men, including Parsons, Donald Griffin, and Juan Javier, to travel from Rochester to the Medina home of 78 year-old Homer Marciniak to steal Marciniak’s valuable comic book collection in exchange for $1,000 each.
In executing their plan, Parsons, along with Combs, Griffin, and Javier, drove from Rochester to Medina and during the early morning hours of July 4, 2010. They cut Marciniak’s phone line. In the early morning hours of the following day, July 5, 2010, the co-defendants returned to Marciniak’s home.
Wearing ski masks and gloves, Parsons, Griffin, and Javier forcibly entered, and during the course of the burglary, Marciniak, who had a serious heart condition, awoke and confronted the burglars. Griffin struck Marciniak in the face and then, along with Javier, bound his hands with bed linens.
Javier then verbally threatened Marciniak with a BB gun in hand. Parsons, Griffin, and Javier ultimately located the comic book collection along with several strong boxes containing cash, coins, and other valuables. Parsons, Griffin, and Javier fled the scene with Combs and provided the comic books to her. Combs, in turn, together with co-defendant Terry Stewart took the comic books to Vendetti later in the day on July 5.
After the burglars fled his house, Marciniak freed himself and was taken to Medina Memorial Hospital for treatment of his facial injuries. However, after Marciniak was treated and released, he suffered a heart attack, was re-admitted to the hospital, and died shortly thereafter.
Medical experts concluded that the blow Griffin struck, as well as the emotional trauma caused by the burglary, directly contributed to Marciniak’s cardiac arrest and resulting death.
Once Vendetti learned that the burglary resulted in Marciniak’s death, Vendetti disposed of the comic books.
Law enforcement officials within the Rochester Police Department identified the defendants during the course of separate investigation in October 2010. The defendants were arrested soon thereafter.
This burglary grew out of an organized shoplifting ring that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from retail stores such as Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Tops, and Wegmans.
Vendetti, the former owner of Eastside Gold & Car Audio, formerly in Rochester, along with co-defendant, Dayon Shaver, purchased the stolen merchandise for 25 cents on the dollar and then sold the stolen merchandise on eBay for about half of its retail value, primarily to out-of-state customers.
Also convicted in connection with this case:
- Rico Vendetti was convicted of racketeering and was sentenced to 20 years.
- Arlene Combs was convicted of racketeering and was sentenced to 20 years.
- Donald Griffin was convicted of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering: murder, and was sentenced to 20 years.
- Terry Stewart was convicted of racketeering and was sentenced to 55 months.
- Dayon Shaver was convicted of conspiring to traffic in stolen goods across state lines and was sentenced to 46 months.
- Brandon Meade was convicted of conspiring to traffic in stolen goods across state lines and was sentenced to time-served after serving nine months.
- Juan Javier, who was 17 at the time of the burglary, was prosecuted as an adult in Orleans County and sentenced to 7 years in state prison.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Richard Allen, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of then 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 then Chief Jose Avila and Officers from the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli. Special assistance was provided by Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone.
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