TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced the indictment of a Middlesex County man after an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives led to the seizure of five handguns and an assault rifle transported to New Jersey from Georgia allegedly for unlawful sale.
Barrett R. Griffin, III, 33, of North Brunswick, NJ, was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm, first- and second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; second-degree Transporting Firearms into the State for Unlawful Sale, second-degree Certain Persons Not to Possess a Firearm, fourth-degree Unlawful Possession of Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines.
The indictment, handed up by a State Grand Jury on May 6, alleges that between February 5, 2022 and February 7, 2022, Griffin illegally transported handguns from Georgia to New Jersey, for unlawful sale.
“As gun violence continues to disrupt the peace of communities throughout New Jersey, the importance of keeping illegal guns from crossing our borders cannot be overstated,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “This indictment sends a clear message that anyone caught trafficking weapons into our State will face serious consequences.”
“Together with our law enforcement partners in New Jersey and beyond, we are working diligently to identify and bring to justice individuals transporting illegal guns into New Jersey,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “When we seize illegal firearms before they enter criminal marketplace we prevent crime and suffering.”
The indictment was obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau following an investigation by NJSP and the ATF. During the course of the investigation, a motor vehicle stop was made on the car Griffin was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mount Laurel, NJ on February 7, 2022. Following a search of the vehicle, detectives seized five handguns, one assault rifle, and four large capacity ammunition magazines from the vehicle’s trunk. Griffin was ordered detained pending trial and is being held in the Burlington County Jail.
Deputy Attorney General Karen M. Bornstein is lead prosecutor on the case for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis.
The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Unlawful possession of a handgun carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or 3 ½ years, whichever is greater. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years. Transporting a Firearm into the State for sale is a second-degree offense subject to the No Early Release Act requiring the person serve 85% of the sentence before release. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, and fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Defense Attorney: Fatima Agosto, Esq., Burlington County Public Defender’s Office.