DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Craig Carpenito
, United States Attorney
Contact: Matthew Reilly

Previously Convicted Felon from Newark Sentenced to 162 Months in Prison for Firearms Possession, Drug Distribution Offenses

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man with at least six felony convictions in New Jersey courts was sentenced today to 162 months in prison on multiple counts of illegal firearms possession and drug distribution, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carlos Bess, 39, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an indictment charging him with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and four counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Since June 2015, agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been investigating the sales of narcotics, including heroin and cocaine, as well as the unlawful possession of firearms by convicted felons. The investigation has revealed that on July 23, 2015, Bess unlawfully possessed two Rebel Arms AR-15 rifles. On Sept. 30, 2015, and Dec. 1, 2015, Bess sold heroin to another individual in Newark. During a search of a residence controlled by Bess in Newark, federal agents recovered an additional five firearms illegally possessed by Bess—a loaded .357 revolver, 2 loaded .380 pistols, a loaded 9 millimeter pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun. Agents also recovered more heroin and more than 500 grams of cocaine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Devito in Newark, and special agents with the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.


18-188 ###

Defense Counsel: Frank P. Arleo Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

Newark Field Division