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Press Release

Essex County Man Sentenced to 32 Months in Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Firearm

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

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Joseph Triplett, 32, of East Orange, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

On Sept. 6, 2019, Newark Police Department officers were patrolling the area of South 8th Street when they observed Triplett, a previously convicted felon, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk and maneuvering around pedestrians, in violation of local ordinances. One of the officers then identified himself as a police officer, showed his badge, and ordered Triplett to stop. Triplett refused to stop and rode off in the opposite direction on the sidewalk. Shortly after, Triplett discarded a black fanny pack which he had been wearing across his chest. After the officers pursued and arrested Triplett, they retrieved the fanny pack from the street and found inside a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Triplett is not permitted to possess a firearm.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Triplett to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and officers of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dong Joo Lee and Shontae Gray of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Updated November 22, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 21-536