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Rochester man sentenced in murder-for-hire plot

Robert J. Palermo, 31, of Rochester, who was convicted of conspiracy to murder a witness, was sentenced today to 135 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.

Palermo, according to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany H. Lee and Robert A. Marangola, was in jail on pending federal charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor, when he tried to get a hit man to murder the 15-year-old female sex trafficking victim.

Over the telephone and in letters, the defendant spoke to multiple individuals about his plot to have a hit man murder the victim in order to prevent her from testifying against him. 

Prosecutors said Palermo gave the victim’s name, description and directions to an address as well as the phone number for a person outside of jail for the hit man to contact. Law enforcement officers learned of the plot before any harm came to the victim.