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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Previously Convicted Felon From Essex County Admits Firearms Possession, Drug Distribution Offenses

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man with at least six prior felony convictions today admitted distributing narcotics and possessing multiple firearms, including two assault rifles and a 12-guage shotgun, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carlos Bess, 37, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and four counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. 

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

Bess admitted that as a previously convicted felon, he knowingly possessed multiple firearms, including two Rebel Arms AR-15 rifles, a loaded .357 revolver, two loaded .380 pistols, a loaded 9 millimeter pistol, and a 12-gauge shotgun. Bess also admitted distributing heroin in an around Newark on Sept. 30, 2015 and Dec. 1, 2015, and knowingly possessing the heroin and more than 500 grams of cocaine that were found at his residence when he was arrested in December 2015.  Sentencing is scheduled for May 31, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito, and special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson in Newark.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.


Defense Counsel: Frank Arleo, Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 14, 2018