Police: 8 arrested on NJ gun charges in 'Operation Gravedigger'

Pictured: Some of the weapons seized during "Operation Gravedigger," an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and Trenton Police that resulted in eight arrests.
August 21, 2012 2:41:08 PM PDT
The New Jersey State Police and the Trenton Police announced the arrests of eight suspected gun traffickers in an investigation dubbed "Operation Gravedigger."

The investigation began in March, 2012 and targeted illegal firearm sales in the city of Trenton, police said. The arrests were announced on Tuesday morning.

During the investigation, police say they seized 16 guns including five assault rifles, five handguns, three shotguns and three rifles.

One of the assault rifles included a 90 round drum magazine, police said, and each weapon seized was loaded or included ammunition.

All of the suspects involved in the investigation sold one or more guns to an undercover detective or operative, investigators said.

The transactions took place on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton, near two local funeral homes, hence the name "Operation Gravedigger."

The alleged gun sellers were not part of an organized group, and operated independently.

"These individuals allegedly were trafficking guns to anyone willing to pay their price, and they evidently didn't care what violence would be inflicted with their deadly wares," said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa in a statement.

All of those arrested are being held at the Mercer County Jail on $100,000 cash bail:

Those charged are:

1. Maurice Blackstone, 21, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapon
Certain Persons Not to have Firearms
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose
Possession of Large Capacity Magazines
Possession of Hollow Point Bullets

Weapons allegedly sold:

Savage 12 gauge shotgun
Raven .25 caliber handgun
Bernadelli .380 caliber handgun
Bryco .380 handgun
Enfield .303 rifle
WASR AK-47 assault rifle

2. Tyron Jordan, 25, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Conspiracy to sell/transfer a weapon

Weapons allegedly sold: (The following weapons were allegedly sold with Maurice Blackstone)

Raven .25 caliber handgun
Bernadelli .380 caliber handgun
Bryco .380 caliber handgun
Enfield .303 rifle

3. Keon Jefferson, 29, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Conspiracy to sell/transfer a weapon

? Weapons allegedly sold: (The following weapons were allegedly sold with Maurice Blackstone)

Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver
Savage 12 gauge shotgun

4. Shaquille Nance, 19, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapon
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose

Weapons allegedly sold:

Winchester 12 gauge shotgun

5. Jameel Harris, 31, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapon
Certain Persons Not to have Firearms
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose
Possession of Large Capacity Magazines

Weapon allegedly sold:

Olympic Arms AR-15 assault rifle

6. Sam Gonzalez, 23, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapon
Certain Persons Not to have Firearms
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose

Weapon allegedly sold:

.380 caliber Mauser handgun

7. Michael Barnes, 25, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapon
Certain Persons Not to have Firearms
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose

Weapon allegedly sold:

.38 caliber Taurus revolver

8. Robert Kearse, 27, Trenton, NJ

Charges:

Unlawful Use or Transfer of Firearms
Unlawful Possession of Weapons
Certain Persons Not to Have Firearms
Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose
Possession of Assault Firearm
Possession of Large Capacity Magazines

Weapons allegedly sold:

Marlin 30/30 Rifle
WASR AK-47 assault rifle


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