Trenton Man Convicted at Trial of Illegally Selling Assault Rifle and Handgun – Defendant arrested in “Operation Nine Lives” targeting weapons trafficking in capital city

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Peter Aseltine

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TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Trenton man was convicted at trial today of illegally selling an assault rifle and a handgun during an investigation by the New Jersey State Police into illegal weapons trafficking in the capital city.

Barry Crudup, 27, of Trenton, N.J., was found guilty today by a Mercer County jury of the following charges:

Crudup was convicted after a trial before Superior Court Judge Robert W. Bingham II.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19.

Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Jaclyn Poulton tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.  They were assisted by Detective Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Gauthier of the New Jersey State Police, who was lead detective, under the supervision of Detective Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Gibson and Capt. Eric Barlow, and Analyst Kimberly Namura-Benjamin.  Crudup was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking South Unit into gun trafficking in Trenton called “Operation Nine Lives.”

The state presented testimony and evidence that Crudup and co-defendant Michael Gyampo sold a loaded Marlin .22-caliber assault rifle with scope to a cooperating witness for $400 on June 26 on Ward Avenue.  On Sept. 12, 2012, Crudup sold a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a defaced serial number to the cooperating witness for $750 in the area of Ward Avenue and North Olden Avenue.

“Crudup was willing to sell a deadly assault rifle or a defaced handgun to anyone willing to pay his price,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This verdict is another victory in our fight against the weapons traffickers responsible for the proliferation of deadly firepower on the streets of Trenton and our other communities.”

“Through this type of investigation and prosecution, we are taking illegal guns off the street – along with those who traffic them – and making our communities safer,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend the trial team and all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who secured this verdict.  We will continue to work collaboratively to arrest gun traffickers and prosecute them using New Jersey’s tough gun laws.”

“Criminals like Crudup, who sell illegal and defaced firearms, are doing so knowing that the weapons could be used by people banned from possessing them and during the commission of crimes,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain dedicated in our mission to fight violent crime and will continue to work with our partners to keep our streets safe by arresting and prosecuting the gun traffickers who seek to profit from arming criminals in our communities.”

Four men have been convicted in connection with illegal weapons trafficking in Operation Nine Lives, including Crudup.  In total, these men sold a Marlin assault rifle, an Uzi 9mm rifle with large-capacity magazine, two shotguns, including a sawed-off shotgun, and two semiautomatic pistols with defaced serial numbers. Crudup is the last to be convicted because he was a fugitive for more than five years after the indictment was returned in June 2013.

Michael Gyampo, 30, of Trenton, and Dwayne Haines, 31, of Trenton, were indicted with Crudup.  Gyampo pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced on May 13, 2014 to five years in prison, including three years of parole ineligibility.  Haines conspired with Gyampo to sell a defaced 9mm Taurus semiautomatic pistol to the confidential witness for $300.  He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced to five years in prison on Jan. 29, 2015.

Davon Williams, 31, of Trenton, was indicted separately from Crudup, Gyampo, and Haines.  He sold an Uzi 9mm rifle with a large-capacity magazine and a 20-gauge shotgun to the confidential witness for $1,000 in one transaction, and a sawed off 12-gauge shotgun for $600 in a second transaction.  He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a shotgun and unlawful disposition of a weapon.  He was sentenced on June 5, 2015 to five years in prison with three years of parole ineligibility, consecutive to a drug sentence secured by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office of five years in prison with 3 ½ years of parole ineligibility, for a total sentence of 10 years in prison with 6 ½ years of parole ineligibility.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defense Attorney:
Michael Rosas, Esq., Rosas & Cirigliano, of East Brunswick and Staten Island, N.Y.


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