For Immediate Release
Union County Man Admits Illegally Possessing Firearm and Drug Trafficking
NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man today admitted illegally possessing fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone for distribution and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
William Murphy, 45, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On July 30, 2020, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Murphy’s residence and found oxycodone pills; knotted bags containing mixtures of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl; a digital scale; a money counter; numerous empty vacuum sealed bags; and approximately $13,000 in cash. The officers also recovered a 9mm Taurus handgun, loaded with 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a magazine loaded with 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition, and a box containing 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
The narcotics offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $1 million. The count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. Each firearm count carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller; and Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Chief Giacommo Sacca, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dong Joo Lee of the Narcotics/Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.