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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Gets Over 11 Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Traffic Firearms From Philadelphia To Camden, New Jersey

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Philadelphia man was sentenced today to 135 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to obtain firearms from Philadelphia-area licensed dealers and resell them in New Jersey for a profit, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Michael Wayne Lee, 35, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

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

Between June 30, 2012, and July 19, 2012, Rosselyn M. DeJesus, 29, of Philadelphia, bought five pistols from Philadelphia-area gun shops, which she then transferred for resale to Lee. Lee, a previously convicted felon, resold them. Two of the five weapons were sold by a third individual, Ammie Steward, 41, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, to a witness cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). These two weapons are now in the custody of law enforcement.

Also in connection with this investigation, on May 5, 2014, ATF agents arrested Wendelle L. Ford, 43, of Camden. Ford was charged with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license. 

From January 2012 through July 2012, Ford obtained firearms from different sources, who purchased them in gun shops in Philadelphia and pawn shops in North Carolina. Ford then resold the firearms, including at least two firearms to Steward, who in turn sold the weapons to an ATF informant. In total, Ford dealt 15 firearms without a license. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Lee to three years of supervised release.

DeJesus previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and was sentenced to one year in prison on Oct. 20, 2015. Steward previously pleaded guilty to dealing firearms without a license and possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23, 2016.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint against Ford are merely accusations, and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George P. Belsky, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

Defense counsel: Stanley King Esq., Woodbury, New Jersey

Updated September 1, 2016

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 16-221