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Press Release

Essex County Man Admits Illegally Possessing Firearm used in Shooting and Possessing with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted illegally possessing cocaine and heroin for distribution and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and in furtherance of drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Naiem Moore, 34, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with two counts of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Jan. 14, 2021, law enforcement recovered glassine envelopes containing heroin, jugs containing cocaine, and a Chrome Llama Max I firearm loaded with four rounds of ammunition and two controlled expansion rounds from Moore’s vehicle. On Sept. 28, 2020, Moore had used the same firearm in a shooting and attempted assault.

The narcotics offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $1 million. The two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. Each firearm count carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2024.

This investigation was conducted as part of the Newark Violent Crimes Initiative (VCI). The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety to combat violent crime in and around Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Board of Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited officers of the Newark Police Division under the direction of Director Fritz Fragé; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; and the Bloomfield Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Samuel A. DeMaio, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney DeNae Thomas of the Health Care Fraud Unit.

Updated June 12, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-226