April 14, 2021
By: Tyler Eckel
Defendant arrested in “Operation Nine Lives” targeting gun trafficking in Trenton
TRENTON (MERCER)– Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Trenton man was sentenced to state prison today for illegally selling an assault rifle and a handgun during an investigation by the New Jersey State Police into illegal weapons trafficking in the capital city.
Barry Crudup, 29, of Trenton, N.J., was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including six years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Robert W. Bingham II in Mercer County. Crudup was found guilty on May 17, 2019 following a jury trial of the following charges:
- Conspiracy (2nd Degree)
- Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd Degree)
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Loaded Shotgun) (3rdDegree)
- Unlawful Disposition of an Assault Firearm (3rd Degree)
- Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (2nd Degree)
- Unlawful Disposition of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (4th Degree)
- Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)
- Disposition of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)
Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Jaclyn Poulton tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. They were assisted by Detective Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Gauthier of the New Jersey State Police, who was lead detective, under the supervision of Detective Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Gibson and former Capt. Eric Barlow, and Analyst Kimberly Namura-Benjamin. Crudup was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking South Unit into gun trafficking in Trenton called “Operation Nine Lives.”
The state presented testimony and evidence that Crudup and co-defendant Michael Gyampo sold a loaded Marlin .22-caliber assault rifle with scope to a cooperating witness for $400 on June 26, 2012, on Ward Avenue. On Sept. 12, 2012, Crudup sold a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a defaced serial number to the cooperating witness for $750 in the area of Ward Avenue and North Olden Avenue.
“Combating illegal weapons trafficking is one of our top priorities, because every single gun sold to a criminal on the street can lead to multiple lives lost to gun violence,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Crudup would sell a deadly assault rifle or defaced handgun to anyone willing to pay his price. This prison sentence reflects our determination to lock up the weapons traffickers responsible for the proliferation of deadly firepower on the streets of Trenton and our other communities.”
“Through this type of investigation and prosecution, we are taking illegal guns and gun traffickers off the street and making our communities safer,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend the trial team and all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who helped to secure the guilty verdict and this prison sentence. We will continue to work collaboratively to arrest gun traffickers and prosecute them using New Jersey’s tough gun laws.”
“Criminals like Crudup, who sell illegal and defaced firearms, are doing so knowing that the weapons could be used by people banned from possessing them and during the commission of crimes,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain dedicated in our mission to fight violent crime and will continue to work with our partners to keep our streets safe by arresting and prosecuting the gun traffickers who seek to profit from arming criminals in our communities.”
A total of four men were convicted in connection with illegal weapons trafficking in Operation Nine Lives, including Crudup. In total, these men sold a Marlin assault rifle, an Uzi 9mm rifle with large-capacity magazine, two shotguns, including a sawed-off shotgun, and two semiautomatic pistols with defaced serial numbers. Crudup was the last to be convicted because he was a fugitive for more than five years after the indictment was returned in June 2013.
Michael Gyampo, 32, of Trenton, and Dwayne Haines, 33, of Trenton, were indicted with Crudup. Gyampo pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced on May 13, 2014 to five years in prison, including three years of parole ineligibility. Haines conspired with Gyampo to sell a defaced 9mm Taurus semiautomatic pistol to the confidential witness for $300. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced to five years in prison on Jan. 29, 2015.
Davon Williams, 33, of Trenton, was indicted separately from Crudup, Gyampo, and Haines. He sold an Uzi 9mm rifle with a large-capacity magazine and a 20-gauge shotgun to the confidential witness for $1,000 in one transaction, and a sawed off 12-gauge shotgun for $600 in a second transaction. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a shotgun and unlawful disposition of a weapon. He was sentenced on June 5, 2015 to five years in prison with three years of parole ineligibility, consecutive to a drug sentence secured by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office of five years in prison with 3 ½ years of parole ineligibility, for a total sentence of 10 years in prison with 6 ½ years of parole ineligibility.