Cold Case Solved Through DNA Evidence Results in Prison Sentence for Burglar

Modified: August 12, 2019 2:28pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 51-year-old Jose Mendoza of Buffalo has been sentenced by Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to a determinate sentence of 2 years in prison followed by 1 ½ years of post-release supervision.

The defendant admitted that on July 17, 2017, he attempted to burglarize a home on Gardenvale Drive in the Town of Cheektowaga. While breaking a window, the defendant cut his hand and bled inside the house. The homeowner reported that two televisions were stolen during the break-in.

The DNA profile derived from the blood evidence was submitted to the state DNA databank. The defendant was identified after he was required to submit a sample due to a misdemeanor conviction from February 2018.

In 2012, the DNA databank requirements expanded, requiring individuals convicted of misdemeanors to provide a DNA sample. Prior to that, only convicted felony offenders were obligated to provide a sample.

Mendoza pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class “D” violent felony, on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

DA Flynn commends Detective Mike Strejewski of the Cheektowaga Police Department for his work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Langenfeld of the DA’s Tactical Prosecution Unit.