Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Newark Man Admits Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

 NEWARK, N.J.  – A Newark man today admitted possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug distribution, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

D’Sean Roper, 27, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

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

On Jan. 18, 2021, Newark Police Department officers observed a large group of people in front of a house on Fairmount Avenue in Newark. An officer saw what appeared to be a black handle of a gun protruding from Roper's waistband. Officers approached Roper and saw the outline of the object in his pants that appeared to be a gun. He was found to have a Hi-Point 9mm handgun loaded with eight rounds of 9mm ammunition and five bricks of heroin.

The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 3, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and members of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

This case is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), which 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 for the purpose of combatting 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, 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 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, the Orange Police Department and the Irvington Police Department.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Robert Frazer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.

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