Jersey City Man Found Guilty of Being Felon in Possession of a Firearm While Distributing Heroin

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Evening image of the skyline of Jersey City in the state of New Jersey during sunset.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City man was found guilty today of being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm to facilitate distribution of heroin on the streets of New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Raymond Petway, 38, was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On Sept. 21, 2017, law enforcement officers from the Jersey City Police Department observed the Petway, a convicted felon, selling heroin at Woodlawn Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Jersey City while in possession of a loaded and stolen High-Point 9mm handgun. 

The count of possession with intent to distribute heroin carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The count of being a felon in possession is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison. The count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, which must run consecutively to the term imposed for the drug trafficking count. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director James Shea; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews in Newark; and the Hudson County Prosecutors Office Forensic Laboratory, under the direction of Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.

This is a Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) case. PSN is designed to create and foster safer communities through a sustained reduction in violent crime. The program’s effectiveness depends upon the ongoing coordination, cooperation, and partnerships of local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies and community organizations working together with the communities they serve – engaged in a unified approach coordinated by the U.S. Attorney in all 94 districts.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Meriah Russell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark. 

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