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Press Release

Virginia Man Arrested for Gun Trafficking in South Jersey

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Virginia man was arrested and charged with gun trafficking and possession of firearms by a felon, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Markell Pooler, 26, of Norfolk, Virginia, is charged by complaint with one count of dealing in firearms and two counts of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He appeared by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio and was detained without bail.

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

Pooler was identified as a firearms trafficker who offered to bring guns from pawn shops in Virginia to the Camden area. Between December 2020 and his arrest, Pooler, a convicted felon, obtained handguns in Virginia and sold them in South Jersey. Pooler had in his possession five handguns when he was arrested.

The count of engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms dealing and travelling across state lines to do so carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The counts of possession of a firearm by a felon each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Camden Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge of Charlie J. Patterson in Newark; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman; and the Woodbury Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas R. Ryan, with the investigation leading to the charges.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alisa Shver of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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

Updated March 25, 2021

Project Guardian
Press Release Number: 21-109