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Press Release

South Carolina Man Sentenced to 92 Months in Prison for Firearms Conspiracies and Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A South Carolina man was sentenced today to 92 months in prison for conspiring to traffic and unlawfully sell firearms and for possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Torell Brown, 49, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to Counts Three, Four, and Five of a superseding indictment that charged him with conspiracy to unlawfully sell firearms, possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon, and conspiracy to traffic firearms. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

From April 2021 through May 18, 2021, Brown, a convicted felon, conspired to unlawfully sell firearms to at least one New Jersey resident. He trafficked six firearms and a large quantity of ammunition from South Carolina to New Jersey. From March 2021 through May 18, 2021, Brown also conspired to traffic firearms and ammunition into New Jersey, for use in connection with at least one other felony offense.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Brown to three years of supervised release. 

The investigation that led to these arrests is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.  The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety to combat violent crime in and around Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Board of Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark and special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Ross A. Marchetti, with the investigations leading to the charges. He also thanked the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Fritz G. Fragé, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, for their significant assistance with these cases.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Special Prosecutions Division, Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Fasanello of the Cybercrime Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Olta Bejleri of the Economic Crimes Unit.

Updated May 24, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-196