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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

South Jersey Man And South Carolina Woman Admit Roles In Conspiracy To Traffic 25 Guns

CAMDEN, N.J. – A South Jersey man and a woman from South Carolina have admitted their roles in a conspiracy to sell 25 guns without a license, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.

Shawn Tribbett, 32, of Camden, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license, two counts of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Katelynn Schippnick, 25, of Greeley, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to a separate information charging her with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license. Both defendants entered their pleas before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court.

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

Between April 8, 2013, and July 2014, both Tribbett and Schippnick conspired with others to illegally sell firearms without a license, including handguns, shotguns and an assault rifle. They obtained the firearms from pawn shops, gun stores and other sources in South Carolina and brought them to New Jersey, at times using Amtrak trains to transport the guns.  Tribbett personally sold or participated in the sale of at least six firearms, including handguns, shotguns and an assault-style rifle, to a witness cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Schippnick assisted in the sale of at least five firearms, including handguns and a shotgun, also to an ATF cooperating witness. On at least one occasion, Tribbett and sold ammunition with the firearms.

In addition to the firearms conspiracy, Tribbett admitted that on several occasions he sold cocaine and oxycodone pills to a witness cooperating with the ATF.

The conspiracy charge to which Tribbett and Schippnick pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon charges to which Tribbett pleaded guilty each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The distribution of cocaine charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for July 23, 2015.

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 the guilty pleas. He also thanked special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, as well as officers from the Winslow Township and Clementon, New Jersey, police departments, for their work in the case.

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

Defense counsel:     

Tribbett: Brian O’Malley Esq., Haddon Heights, New Jersey

Schippnick: Martin Isenberg Esq., Gibbsboro, New Jersey

Updated October 15, 2015