A weapons trafficker from South Carolina was sentenced Tuesday in Newark to a plea-bargained 2½ years in federal prison, part of a new Justice Department initiative aimed at reducing gun violence nationwide.
Richard Lowman, 31, was at times accompanied by his uncle, ex-con Reginald Moultrie of Newark, during several meetings with one of the buyers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
In another instance, he sold an assault rifle on a Newark street, Carpenito said.
Lowman later sold six firearms in a city home after bringing them to New Jersey from South Carolina, the U.S. attorney said.
Overall, 17 firearms were illegally sold by Lowman and Moultrie over five months, Carpenito said.
Neither man had a license to sell them, he said. Moultrie, in fact, was a convicted felon who was prohibited from having a gun. He was sentenced last July to 10 years in federal prison.
Both Loman and Moultrie must serve out their sentences: There's no parole in the federal prison system.
In addition to the 30-month federal prison term for his guilty plea last May to one count of conspiracy to engage in the unlicensed business of dealing in firearms, U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi sentenced Lowman in Newark on Tuesday to three years of supervised release.
The case is part of Project Guardian , the Department of Justice’s “signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws,” Carpenito said.
The initiative launched by U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr:
- “enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes;
- “improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS);
- “takes appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NCIS for mental health reasons;
- “directs federal resources at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.”
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation and thanked Newark police for their assistance.
Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of Carpenito’s National Security Unit in Newark.
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