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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
For Immediate Release
Philip R. Sellinger, United States Attorney
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Union County Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearm and Drug Trafficking

NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man was charged today with illegally possessing a firearm and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Shaquan Little-Bethea, 28, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Little-Bethea will have his initial appearance at a date to be determined.

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

Law enforcement officers received information that Little-Bethea was distributing controlled dangerous substances in Elizabeth.  On June 2, 2022, Little-Bethea arranged to meet with an undercover law enforcement agent to sell him the drugs. Just before the meeting, however, Little-Bethea drove away in his car before fleeing on foot. After a pursuit, law enforcement officers apprehended Little-Bethea and recovered an H&K, model VP9, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, with 16 rounds of ball ammunition, along with 38 clear vials containing suspected crack cocaine and 17 glassine envelopes of suspected heroin.

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 and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the members of the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Director Earl J. Graves and Police Chief Giacommo Sacca; and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, Newark Field Division, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dong Joo Lee of the Narcotics/Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew DeSaro of the General Crimes Unit, in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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