NEWARK, NJ - A Georgia man has been charged with trafficking multiple firearms which were subsequently used in acts of violence, from Georgia to Jersey City, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Wednesday.
Jonathan Brown, 26, of Covington, Georgia, was arrested in Covington by special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit the unlicensed sale of firearms. He had his initial appearance and was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday in the Northern District of Georgia.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Brown allegedly led a scheme to purchase firearms in or around Georgia and traffic those firearms to individuals in Jersey City. Brown, who is barred from purchasing firearms himself due to multiple prior felony convictions, allegedly used straw purchasers in Georgia to obtain the firearms so that Brown could sell those firearms to others. On multiple occasions, Brown is said to have brought firearms from Georgia to New Jersey for sale.
Within months of Brown’s trips to Jersey City, law enforcement arrested numerous individuals in possession of firearms purchased by Brown’s alleged straw purchasers. At least one of the weapons allegedly trafficked by Brown was later used in the shooting of another person in the city. Additionally, at least one of the individuals in possession of a gun supplied by Brown’s had a prior felony conviction and was therefore barred from possessing a firearm. To date, law enforcement has recovered at least seven firearms allegedly trafficked by Brown in Jersey City.
This investigation was conducted as part of the Jersey City Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), an initiative formed in 2018 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Jersey City Police Department, for the sole purpose of combating violent crime in and around Jersey City.
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