Essex county drug dealer charged for illegal gun, dealing

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NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was charged in connection with possessing a firearm, several rounds of ammunition, as well as controlled substances with the intent to distribute, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

John A. Fuller, 31, of Newark, is charged by complaint with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He made his initial appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III and was detained.

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

In August 2020, law officers observed Fuller conduct several narcotics transactions from his residence. On Oct. 3, 2020, law enforcement officers executed search warrants for Fuller’s residence and vehicle and recovered a handgun loaded with an extended magazine containing 31 rounds of ammunition, a box containing additional rounds of ammunition, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, packaging material, and $405. 


The narcotics offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $1 million. The count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison – which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed – and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. Each firearm count carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited members of the Irvington Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Police Chief Francis Pignatelli; deputy marshals with the U.S. Marshals Service in the District of New Jersey, under the supervision of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai, Newark Field Division, with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest.