For Immediate Release
Previously Convicted Felon Admits Unlawfully Possessing Firearm
TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man today admitted to being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jakim Stradford, 27, of Neptune City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Feb. 26, 2020, officers from the Neptune City Police Department responded to the home of a local resident who reported trespassers in her patio. Officers found Stradford – a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a firearm – and another man in the enclosed patio of an apartment. The officers ordered the men to stop, but Stradford attempted to run. Officers arrested and searched Stradford, finding marijuana, pills and a Hi-Point 9mm caliber pistol. Examination of the pistol revealed that the serial number had been obliterated.
The felon in possession of a firearm charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2021.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, Newark Field Division, Trenton Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, and the Neptune City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Matthew Quagliato for their assistance with the investigation.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Matthews of the Criminal Division in Trenton.