News10NBC Investigates: RPD is calling ATF on gun arrests and the defendant ends up in jail in federal custody

[anvplayer video=”5126923″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC is going to take you inside how police go after some illegal guns in Rochester. And the result is the person arrested with the gun goes to jail and stays in jail. News10NBC uncovered this police work after asking questions and sifting through court documents.

The RPD and ATF have always worked together. But in the last couple of days we’ve seen an increase in that cooperation.

Here’s what happens:

RPD makes a gun arrest.

The ATF is called.

They run the gun serial number and the person arrested is suddenly in federal custody.

That’s what happened to Maurice Chatman Wednesday night.

Chatman was arrested by RPD after they say they found him standing outside a home with a rifle. Chatman is a four-time convicted felon for drugs, gang assault and gun possession.

RPD called the ATF.

ATF ran a background check using the serial number on the Winchester rifle seized by RPD and found it was not manufactured in New York and therefore was "affecting interstate commerce."

ATF took the case and now Chatman is in jail on "federal remand."

There were two other cases on Aug 2 using the exact same technique.

RPD and the U.S. Attorney’s office would not comment on this story. In a statement, the ATF said "the Rochester ATF task force is ready and willing to work alongside our local, state and federal partners. We are unable to comment on any specific ongoing investigations."

"Seemingly, every other day or every third day someone is being taken away and that’s not right," said John Rouse.

Rouse is talking about the 200 people shot and 46 people killed in our community this year.

The district attorney just published the name of every victim.

Rouse is with Roc the Peace, an organization started by a woman whose son was murdered. I told Rouse about the tactic used by RPD and ATF that puts defendants in jail for possessing a gun.

"We need something to happen now," he said. "And if it can keep them off the street for a while maybe we can work on, it can be the bandaid that held together the wound so the surgery can be done."

it doesn’t happen in every gun case. In the cases we reviewed, the defendants are felons with a gun or people accused of doing another crime with a gun including a carjacking with a high-speed chase three weeks ago.

It started in Rochester and ended in Scottsville. RPD sent the make and model of the stolen car and the gun used to take it to the ATF. The ATF determined both were manufactured outside New York. So they took the case.
And now the man accused of stealing the car at gunpoint, Jaden Campbell, is in jail, officially detained by the U.S. Marshal’s service.

One of the big differences we see is that everyone arrested by this tactic is still in jail with no bail. Only one of them, Maurice Chatman, has a detention hearing scheduled and that’s next Wednesday in federal court.