For Immediate Release
Salem County Man Admits Illegal Possession of Weapon
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Salem County, New Jersey, man today admitted to illegally possessing a handgun, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Rahim Seals, 27, of Salem City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an indictment charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Dec. 27, 2019, while Seals was walking in Salem City, detectives from the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office attempted to arrest Seals on an outstanding warrant. Seals fled and dropped a Sig Sauer P238 .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven hollow point rounds of ammunition. Seals has at least three prior felony convictions, including a controlled substance offense and two resisting arrest offenses.
The charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 8, 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, Camden Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Salem City Police Department, under the direction of Chief John A. Pelura, III, and the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John T. Lenahan, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.