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Press Release

Two People Arrested for Trafficking Guns in Camden Area

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – A man and woman from Fayetteville, North Carolina, who were arrested for conspiring to engage in illegal gun-trafficking in South Jersey will be making their initial appearances in court in New Jersey today, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

Anthony Doyle, 27, and Anastacia Thomas, 26, are charged by complaint with conspiring to illegally traffic firearms. Doyle is also charged with being a felon in possession of firearms.

The defendants appeared in federal court in North Carolina following their arrest earlier this month and were detained. They are scheduled to appear in New Jersey this afternoon; Doyle will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court and Thomas will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

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

On Jan. 25, 2018, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop of a car registered to Doyle, who was riding as the front seat passenger while Thomas was driving. The officers observed a Glock handgun in plain view on the front seat passenger floor. Doyle told the officers the gun, which was loaded with 14 hollow tip bullets, belonged to a friend. The officers also observed a firearm box in the backseat of the car, next to a backpack. A search of the car and backpack revealed four additional handguns and two additional firearm boxes. 

Law enforcement officers learned that the four handguns in the backpack had been purchased by Thomas on Jan. 22, 2018, from a pawnshop in Jonesboro, Georgia. Thomas purchased several additional firearms from that same pawnshop over the course of multiple visits, and Doyle accompanied Thomas to the pawnshop on at least two of those visits. 

The investigation revealed that from Nov. 30, 2017, to Jan. 25, 2018, Doyle and Thomas conspired and worked together to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.  Thomas was responsible for purchasing firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers; meanwhile, Doyle used social media to advertise firearms for sale, negotiate pricing for firearms, and arrange for firearm transactions. Doyle discussed the various firearm transactions in great detail over the course of hundreds of pages of online messages that were analyzed by law enforcement.

The charge of conspiring to engage in gun trafficking carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possessing a firearm while being a convicted felon carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito, Newark Field Division, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara A. Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and both Doyle and Thomas are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.



Defense counsel:

Doyle: Christopher O’Malley Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Thomas: Paul A. Sarmousakis Esq., Avalon, New Jersey

Updated October 31, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 18-381