Law & Justice

Leader of Major Weapons Trafficking Ring That Sold High-Powered Assault Rifles Sentenced

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Louis Boggs Credits: NJ Office of the Attorney General
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Joseph Maisonet Credits: NJ Office of the Attorney General
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TRENTON –Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that the leader of a major weapons trafficking ring in Newark was sentenced today to 18 years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to a first-degree weapons charge as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking North Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

Louis Boggs, 32, of Newark, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison, including nine years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Verna G. Leath in Essex County. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, 2015 to first-degree possession of a gun and second-degree conspiracy to illegally possess and distribute firearms. Because he had a prior conviction for robbery, which falls under the No Early Release Act, Boggs was subject to first-degree gun possession charges.

A co-defendant, Joseph Maisonet, 27, of Newark, was sentenced today by Judge Leath to seven years in state prison, including 42 months of parole ineligibility. Maisonet pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

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Deputy Attorney General Amy Sieminski took the guilty pleas and handled the sentencing hearings for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

Boggs was indicted on Feb. 5, 2015 with 17 alleged associates. The investigation revealed that Boggs and his associates used his residence in the first block of 3rd Avenue and a residence in the 700 block of South 15th Street as bases of operation where they planned their crimes, met prior to gun sales and conducted some sales. The State Police executed search warrants at the two residences on Dec. 3, 2013. Most of the defendants were arrested on that day or soon after. The detectives seized a revolver in Boggs’ home and numerous bullets. Previously, from August to December 2013, State Police detectives orchestrated 22 controlled purchases of guns from ring members. In these transactions, ring members allegedly sold 11 illegal assault weapons – eight equipped with illegal large-capacity magazines – as well as a rifle and 12 handguns, some with illegal hollow-point bullets. Two of the handguns were stolen, and a third with a defaced serial number was linked by ballistic testing to a murder in Newark.

“The most effective means to reduce the number of illegal guns being sold to criminals in our communities and being used to inflict murder and terror is to lock up prolific weapons traffickers like Boggs,” said Attorney General Porrino. “We’re leveraging our resources in the fight against gun crime by aggressively prosecuting Boggs and other black-market gun dealers.”

“Blood money is the only way to describe the profits Boggs and his co-conspirators made by selling deadly assault weapons on the streets of Newark,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to work closely with the State Police to infiltrate these criminal enterprises and stop these illegal guns from reaching our streets.”

“Boggs’ sentence of 18 years in state prison sends a very powerful message to black-market gun dealers,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “These types of illegal assault weapons in the hands of criminals can only bring misery and sorrow to our communities. I commend the State Police detectives and partnering agencies for an outstanding investigation and for preventing these deadly weapons from reaching our streets.”

Deputy Attorney General Sieminski prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Annmarie Taggart and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis. The investigation was conducted for the New Jersey State Police by Detective Sgt. Michael Gregory and the Weapons Trafficking North Unit, under the supervision of Lt. James Hollar.

The following 10 co-defendants of Boggs previously pleaded guilty in plea deals calling for five years or more in state prison:

  1. Tyheed Brison, 36, of Elizabeth, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and faces a recommended sentence of five years in prison, including 42 months of parole ineligibility. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17.
  2. Raheem Brison, 24, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and faces a recommended sentence of five years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17.
  3. Marquise Clyburn, 24, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was sentenced on Feb. 8, 2016 to five years in prison.
  4. Reginald Dawsey, 27, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was sentenced on Feb. 8, 2016 to five years in prison, including 42 months of parole ineligibility.
  5. Alejandro Fawcette, 35, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was sentenced on Oct. 20, 2015 to five years in prison, including 42 months of parole ineligibility.
  6. Rujohn Hutchins, 26, of Irvington, pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. He was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2017 to five years in prison without possibility of parole.
  7. McKenny Dixon, 48, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. He was sentenced on Oct. 2, 2015 to 10 years in prison, including five years of parole ineligibility.
  8. Antwon Graham, 33, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was sentenced on May 16, 2016 to five years in prison.
  9. Nathan Nieves, 26, of Newark, pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. He was sentenced on April 29, 2016 to five years in prison.
  10. Justin Caban, 26, of Saylorsburg, Pa., pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was sentenced on April 29, 2016 to five years in prison.

Defense Attorneys:
For Boggs: Jacob Hudnut, Esq., Hudnut Law, LLC, Jersey City, N.J.
For Maisonet: Dennis S. Cleary, Esq., West Orange, N.J.

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