DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Paul J. Fishman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Matthew Reilly

South Jersey Woman Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Role in Conspiracy to Traffic Guns from North Carolina to New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden woman was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for buying five firearms in North Carolina for her cousin to sell in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Johanna Betty Young, 25, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging her with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: In January 2012, Young’s cousin, Wendelle Ford, 42, 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 wasgoing to bring them to New Jersey and sell them. Later, Ford gave Young $200 for each firearm.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Young to serve two years of supervised release.

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 sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Smith of the U.S.Attorney’s Office in Camden.


Defense counsel: Jose Luis Ongay Esq., Camden

Newark Field Division