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Press Release

Six South Carolina Residents Charged in Interstate Gun Trafficking Conspiracy

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Six South Carolina residents have been charged with conspiring to illegally sell firearms, including nine handguns, in and around New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Kendell McFadden, 28, Laronmir McFadden, 27, Savon Harrison, 25, Dontavian Jones, 24, Donjanea McClary, 24, and Michael Gamble, 31, all of Florence, South Carolina, are each charged by amended criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to engage in the business of unlicensed firearms dealing. Kendell McFadden is also charged with one count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. 

Gamble made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

McClary had her initial appearance before Judge Waldor by videoconference on Sept. 28, 2021 Kendell McFadden, Laronmir McFadden, Harrison, and Jones, appeared by video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court on Sept. 27, 2021. All of these defendants were released on $100,000 unsecured bonds.

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

From August 2019 through September 2021, Kendell McFadden, Laronmir McFadden, Harrison, Jones, McClary, and Gamble and others engaged in a conspiracy to traffic firearms from South Carolina to New Jersey. Kendell McFadden, a convicted felon, and Laronmir McFadden, directed Harrison, McClary and other straw purchasers to purchase firearms in or around Florence, South Carolina, and then transported and sold those firearms to individuals in and around Paterson, New Jersey, and elsewhere. 

On Sept. 26, 2021, law enforcement intercepted a vehicle containing Kendell McFadden, Laronmir McFadden, Jones and Harrison traveling from South Carolina to New Jersey and recovered nine firearms. Two of the firearms recovered were purchased by McClary in South Carolina.

On July 9, 2021, Harrison and Gamble purchased approximately five firearms in South Carolina using Gamble’s debit card. One of the firearms purchased using Gamble’s card was recovered approximately four days later in Paterson. Another firearm purchased using Gamble’s card was recovered in Paterson last week. And records obtained from accounts associated with Kendell McFadden showed that Kendell McFadden had transmitted multiple payments to Gamble in and around July 9, 2021.

The count of conspiracy to engage in the business of unlicensed firearms dealing carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of possession of a firearm by a felon carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In July 2021 the U.S. Department of Justice launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country. Leveraging existing resources, the regional strike forces will better ensure sustained and focused coordination across jurisdictions and help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities, and into five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento Region and Washington, D.C.  According to gun trace data, a significant number of firearms recovered in the New York/northern New Jersey area originate from outside the area. The new strike force will help ensure sustained and focused coordination between law enforcement and prosecutors in the New York/northern New Jersey area with their counterparts in those other locations.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, Newark Division, and Special Agent in Charge Vince Pallozzi, Charlotte, South Carolina Division; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sophie E. Reiter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the amended complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 5, 2022

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 21-459