Essex County Felon Convicted of Drug Trafficking, Firearm Possession, and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
NEWARK, N.J. – A Totowa, New Jersey, man will appear in federal court today to face weapons charges after allegedly trying to get a firearm through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Laron L. James, a/k/a “Juelz Santana,” 36, is charged by complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of carrying a weapon on an aircraft. He surrendered to law enforcement early this morning and will appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
On March 9, 2018, James submitted a carry-on bag for inspection at Newark Liberty International Airport. While he waited for his bag to be screened, James allegedly requested that the bag be examined quickly because he was going to miss his flight to San Francisco.
During the X-Ray screening of James’s luggage, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent identified a suspected firearm and contacted the Port Authority Police. Upon seeing that his bag had attracted additional attention, James left the security checkpoint area without his belongings, including his driver’s license and boarding pass, and departed the airport in a taxi.
Further investigation of James’s bag revealed that it contained a Derringer .38 caliber handgun, which was loaded with two rounds. James was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a 2013 conviction for manufacturing and distributing a controlled dangerous substance.
Both charges in the complaint carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and officers of the Port Authority Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Desiree Grace Latzer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.