Essex County, N.J., Man Convicted On Weapons Charges
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man, charged in connection with a year-long investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force that led to the confiscation of 45 guns from the streets of Newark, East Orange and Irvington, was convicted on weapons charges, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Randy Andrew, 36, of Irvington, N.J., was convicted by a federal jury of one count each of trafficking firearms and conspiracy to traffic firearms and three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Andrew and seven others (all of whom have since pleaded guilty) were arrested in 2011 on charges of trafficking in firearms without a license. For more than one year the FBI Safe Streets Task Force led an operation to recover firearms in an effort to stem gun violence and take weapons off the streets of Newark and surrounding areas. Agents directed and supervised a “sting operation,” using a confidential informant to purchase firearms from illegal gun brokers and dealers. The operation yielded 45 illicit firearms, including several assault rifles, machine pistols, shotguns and semi-automatic handguns.
Andrew was selling firearms out of a laundromat in Irvington. On five separate occasions between May and July 2010, he met with the informant to discuss the purchase of assault weapons. On May 10, May 19 and June 9, 2010, Andrew sold firearms to the informant. On June 1 and July 12, 2010, he attempted to sell assault weapons to the informant, but his supplier could not provide the guns.
Andrew represented himself pro se after the first day of trial, assisted by defense counsel. The trafficking and conspiracy charges on which Andrew was convicted are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and the felon in possession charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the FBI special agents and local detectives and investigators from the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, which operates under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation that led to the guilty verdict. The Safe Streets Task Force comprises the FBI, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the Essex County Corrections Department, and the Newark, East Orange and Jersey City Police Departments.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam N. Subervi and Amy D. Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.
Defense counsel: Paul Casteleiro Esq., Hoboken, N.J.