FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Mount Hope, W. Va., man has been arrested and charged with illegally selling 28 firearms in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested Rickie Joe Rakes Jr., a/k/a “Joseph A. Miller,” 36, yesterday in Franklin Township, N.J., and federal charges were filed this afternoon. Rakes is charged by Complaint with one count each of dealing firearms without a license and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court, and was detained.
According to the Complaint filed today:
Between June 27, 2011 and July 20, 2011, Rakes sold multiple firearms, on four separate occasions, for profit and without a license. During this one-month period, Rakes sold a total of 28 guns – including 12 pistols, 8 revolvers, 4 rifles, 3 shotguns, and 1 derringer – in Middlesex County, N.J. Two of the guns have obliterated serial numbers.
Rakes, a previously convicted felon, transported the firearms from outside the state into New Jersey where he sold them to a witness cooperating with the ATF. All 28 weapons are now in the custody of law enforcement.
The illegal dealing charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the unlawful possession as a convicted felon charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew W. Horace, with the investigation leading to the arrest and charges. He also thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, and the Franklin Township Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Lawrence W. Roberts for their vital roles.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee M. Cortes Jr. and Andrew Pak of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Frank P. Arleo Esq., West Orange, N.J.