Previously Convicted Felon From Long Branch Admits Unlawful Possession Of Firearm

October 19, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man today admitted to being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Rashon Alexander, 42, of Long Branch, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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

On Jan. 13, 2020, officers from the Eatontown Police Department received information that a man fitting Alexander’s description was staying in a local hotel and was in possession of a firearm. The officers observed Alexander – a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a firearm – and another man approaching the hotel. Officers approached Alexander, who admitted to being in possession of marijuana. Officers searched Alexander and found a quantity of marijuana in his sweatshirt pocket. Officers placed Alexander under arrest and searched him, recovering an RG Industries .22 caliber revolver from his pants pocket.

The felon in possession of a firearm charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2021.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, Newark Field Division, Trenton Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, the Eatontown Police Department, under the direction of Chief William P. Lucia, III, and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan for their assistance.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Matthews of the Criminal Division in Trenton.

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Defense counsel: Andrea D. Bergman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton