For Immediate Release
South Jersey Woman Admits to Role in Conspiracy to Traffic Guns from North Carolina to New Jersey
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden woman today admitted buying five firearms in North Carolina so her cousin could sell them in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Johanna Betty Young, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging her with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In January 2012, Young’s cousin, Wendelle Ford, 41, also of Camden, gave Young money to apply for firearms purchase permits in North Carolina, where Young lived at the time. Young admitted she knew that neither she nor Ford were federally licensed firearms dealers. She also knew that Ford had a prior felony conviction and therefore could not legally purchase or possess firearms.
Once Young obtained the purchase permits, Ford traveled to North Carolina and he and Young visited gun shops. After Ford told her which firearms to buy, Young lied on the purchase paperwork, stating that she was the actual buyer. Young bought five handguns and gave them to Ford knowing that he was going to bring them to New Jersey and sell them. Later, Ford gave Young $200 for each firearm.
The conspiracy charge to which Young pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2015.
The case against Ford is still pending. The charges and allegations against him are merely accusations and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George P. Belsky in Newark, New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.