Convict charged for selling rifle illegally in Trenton

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TRENTON, N.J. – A Trenton man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for unlawfully possessing a semi-automatic rifle while attempting to sell it to another individual, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Edwin Gaines, 59, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

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

On Feb. 15, 2019, Gaines, who previously had been convicted of murder in New Jersey Superior Court and who has other felony convictions, arranged to sell to another individual a Ruger .22 semi-automatic rifle as well as an extended magazine. The purchaser, however, was acting at the direction and supervision of law enforcement. In a video- and audio-recorded transaction in the basement of a Trenton residence, the individual purchased the rifle and magazine from Gaines using money that law enforcement had provided.

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In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Gaines to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; detectives from the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Lee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

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