ATF agents busted a convicted felon who they said trafficked guns to Jersey City that were used in crimes, including at least one shooting.
A federal judge in Georgia ordered Jonathan Brown, 26, held Wednesday pending a detention hearing this Friday after special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested him on gun trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito said.
As an ex-con with several previous convictions, Brown, of Covington, GA, couldn’t buy the firearms himself, so he used straw purchasers in and around Georgia, then trafficked the weapons to Jersey City to be resold, Carpenito said.
Several people arrested in Jersey City within months of Brown’s visits were caught with guns bought by the straw purchasers, the U.S. attorney said.
At one of the weapons was used in a shooting, and at least one of those arrested, like Brown, was prohibited from possessing one, Carpenito noted.
All told, authorities have so far recovered seven guns trafficked by Brown to Jersey City, he said.
Carpenito credited special agents of the ATF’s Newark Field Division, as well as the Jersey City Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the ATF Atlanta Field Division and the Newton County, GA Sheriff’s office with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest.
The investigation was conducted as part of the two-year-old Jersey City Violent Crime Initiative (VCI)., Carpenito noted The U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinated the effort with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and city police “for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Jersey City,” he said.
Participating with them are the FBI, ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, U.S. Marshals Service, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole, the Hudson County Jail and the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Macurdy and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Travers of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Newark are handling the case.
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