Newark Man Admits To Firearms And Narcotics Offenses
NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man, previously convicted of multiple felonies, admitted today to being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing narcotics with intent to distribute, and possessing the firearm in furtherance of narcotics trafficking, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Lamont West, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an Indictment charging him with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and one count of using the firearm in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking.
According to documents filed in this case and the statements made in court:
On October 17, 2016, officers of the Newark Police Department received a tip that West, who was wanted by the police in connection with an unrelated alleged shooting, was hiding out at a hotel in Harrison, New Jersey. The officers placed West under arrest outside of the hotel and obtained a search warrant for the room in which he was staying. Inside the room, the officers found a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, two extra magazines containing additional ammunition, approximately 730 glassine envelopes of heroin mixed with fentanyl, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia, and multiple forms of identification and clothing belonging to West. West has multiple prior state convictions for, among other things, narcotics trafficking.
The offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm charged in Count One of the Indictment is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The offense of possession of heroin and fentanyl with intent to distributed charged in Count Two of the Indictment is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The offense of possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking offense charged in Count Three of the Indictment carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. The sentence imposed on Count Three must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed on the other two counts. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 9, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited law enforcement officers of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr. with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sammi Malek and Bruce Keller of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
Defense counsel: John Azzarello, Esq. and William Munoz, Esq., Whipple Azzarello, LLC, Morristown, NJ