Former public defender from Medina pleads guilty to gun charge

Posted 5 October 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, U.S. Attorney William Hochul

BUFFALO – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Adam Rissew, 39, a former Monroe County Public Defender currently of Rochester and formerly of Medina, pleaded guilty to possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

The charge carries a mandatory prison term of 5 years and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce, who is handling the case, stated that on July 20, 2012, Medina police officers and members of the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force searched Rissew’s then-residence at 305 Catherine St. in the Village of Medina.

Officers found and seized in excess of 50 marijuana plants, paraphernalia related to the grow operation, numerous firearms and 684 rounds of various types of ammunition. Among the firearms found and seized was a loaded Glock 9mm semi automatic pistol that was kept between Rissew’s mattress and box springs. During his plea Rissew admitted he used the pistol to protect his marijuana growing operation.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Medina Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jose Avila, officers of the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, under the direction of Chief Investigator Joseph Sacco, and Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2016 at 3 p.m. before Judge Skretny.