TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced the indictment of two individuals after an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Mercer County Shooting Response Team led to the seizure of three community guns transported to New Jersey from Georgia.
The Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau obtained a grand jury indictment on Wednesday, March 9, charging Quaneisha Frost-Clark, 27, of Loganville, G.A. and Marquise Peterson, 28, of Trenton, N.J. with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree transporting weapons into the state for unlawful sale or transfer, second-degree possession, receipt, or transfer of a community gun, three counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and three counts of fourth-degree manufacture, transport, disposition of a weapon.
The indictment alleges that between February 2020 and July 2020, the defendants illegally transported handguns from Georgia to New Jersey, including three 9mm community guns. A “community gun” is a firearm that is transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another. The defendants are also facing charges related to possessing three firearms without having first obtained a permit to carry and selling said firearms without being licensed or registered to do so.
“The vast majority of guns used in criminal activity in New Jersey originate from out of state,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “We are focused on stemming the flow of illegal guns trafficked across our borders—let this indictment serve as a warning for those looking to illegally bring firearms into the State of New Jersey.”
“This case is an excellent example of law enforcement cooperating to address the threat posed by the illegal funneling of weapons from other states into New Jersey,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are committed to working together with our law enforcement partners across all states in order to share intelligence, investigate, and prosecute criminals who arm themselves with illegal weapons that put our communities at risk.”
The indictment is posted online here.
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, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Matthew Lyons and Detective David Reiff under the direction of Sergeant Michael Gonzalez and Lieutenant Kevin Gannon in the Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau of the Division of Criminal Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, including Special Agent Aislynn Stern, and the Mercer County Shooting Response Team. The New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit also assisted in the investigation.
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.
For Frost-Clark: Undetermined
For Peterson: Nicole Carlo, Esq., Mercer County Public Defender’s Office