Association of Prosecuting AttorneysMay 11, 2012
New Jersey Steps Up Seizure of Illegal Guns
HAMILTON - State Police detectives have seized as many guns since January as their unit did in all of 2010 and nearly as many as in 2011, under a new initiative in which New Jersey law enforcement is stepping up seizures of illegal guns and prosecutions of those trafficking them. At a Thursday news conference at the State Police Ballistics Laboratory, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said that over the last three weeks, state prosecutors have obtained 21 grand jury indictments charging 29 defendants with the unlawful possession or sale of 52 guns as part of the effort. "This is about disruption and letting people know that we're going to take a very close look at gun trafficking in New Jersey," Chiesa said. "... All of this activity winds up disrupting these gangs that rely upon guns to fuel their drug trade." The number of detectives in the New Jersey State Police Intelligence Section assigned specifically to weapons trafficking has been doubled to around 20, and since January that bureau, working with street gang units, has seized 101 guns and arrested 42 people. The Intelligence Section seized 101 guns in 2010 and 110 last year.