|TRENTON –Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Linden man has pleaded guilty to weapons charges for selling two assault rifles and a revolver to an undercover operative who was part of a weapons trafficking investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police.
Duquan Wells, 31, of Linden, pleaded guilty yesterday, Dec. 10, before Superior Court Judge Stuart L. Peim in Union County, to second-degree counts of conspiracy, unlawful possession of an assault firearm, and unlawful possession of a handgun, as well as third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He also pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, MDPV, a drug known as “bath salts” and sold as ecstasy. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Wells be sentenced to five years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility. Judge Peim scheduled sentencing for Wells for March 15, 2013.
Deputy Attorney General Betty Rodriguez prosecuted the case and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The gun charges were contained in a May 9, 2012 indictment, presented by Deputy Attorney General Veronica Allende, that also charged a second man, Andre Doss, 31, of Linden. The drug conspiracy charge was contained in a second indictment against Wells and Doss. The two men were arrested by the State Police on Jan. 6, 2012. The charges against Doss are pending and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
In pleading guilty, Wells admitted that in July and August 2011, he participated with Doss in the sales of an ITM Arms Co. semi-automatic rifle, a Tula Arsenal fully automatic rifle with large-capacity magazine, and .22-caliber revolver to an undercover operative working with the New Jersey State Police. Wells stated that he delivered the guns after Doss arranged the sales.
“We’re working hard to cut off the supply-chain of deadly assault weapons like those sold by this defendant, which are a grave threat to the residents of our communities and law enforcement,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “The Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police are working collaboratively as part of an initiative to aggressively target this type of gun trafficker.”
“This man is one of 57 defendants we have indicted so far this year in conjunction with the State Police on charges of trafficking and possessing illegal guns,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Using our tough gun laws, we are taking criminals who are selling or carrying guns on the streets of our neighborhoods and putting them behind bars for significant periods without parole.”