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NJ Gun Investigation Nets 51 Indictments [AUDIO]

Fifty-one defendants are charged with illegally trafficking or possessing firearms in New Jersey as part of an anti-violence initiative.

Middlesex County Gun Buyback Press Conference
Middlesex County Gun Buyback Press Conference (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

The initiative is part of an effort by the State Attorney General’s Office, the State Police, and the Division of Criminal Justice.

“Designed to seize existing weapons in violent areas, disrupt the supply chain of guns being trafficked to those areas, and prosecute criminals involved in the illegal distribution and sale of illegal fire arms,” said Acting Attorney General John Hoffman during a press conference in Edison.

Wednesday morning’s indictments including the seizure of 67 firearms, including assault rifles, and were confiscated during a two week period in September.

The initiative was launched last year and, to date, a total of 124 defendants have been indicted in connection with 184 illegal guns. The indicted defendants include numerous suspects, who allegedly were trafficking illegal guns to gang members and other criminals in New Jersey cities.

The cases include “Operation Ohio,” in which 11 men from Ohio and New Jersey were charged with selling 18 guns on the streets of Newark and Irvington.

“We have arrested, indicted, and extradited at least one of the Ohio defendants and perhaps more,” says Hoffman, who notes they are working with Ohio authorities.

Most of those indicted are subject to the strict sentencing requirements of the Graves Act, which imposes mandatory terms of parole ineligibility of up to five years.

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