DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of NewJersey

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 23, 2020
Craig Carpenito
, United States Attorney

Convicted Felon Admits Selling Semi-Automatic Rifle in Trenton

TRENTON, N.J. – A Trenton man today admitted unlawfully possessing a semi-automatic rifle during the course of an attempted sale to another individual, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Edwin Gaines, 59, pleaded guilty today 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.

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.

The firearm charge to which Gaines pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Gaines’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 24, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito 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, and detectives from the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

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

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Newark Field Division