A federal jury has convicted a Hudson County man of possessing three firearms and ammunition, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on May 11.
Justin A. Rodriguez, a 29-year-old of West New York, was convicted following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler on one count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial, law enforcement observed an unknown individual put what appeared to be a handgun into Rodriguez’s vehicle while conducting surveillance on July 2, 2020.
A search of Rodriguez’s vehicle pursuant to a search warrant yielded one 9-millimeter handgun loaded with nine rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition; one .45-caliber handgun loaded with eight rounds of .45-caliber ammunition; one .38-caliber revolver; one clear plastic bag containing cocaine; and four bags containing marijuana.
The firearm charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The cocaine trafficking charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million.
Sellinger credited the following entities for leading the investigation to a conviction: members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office: deputy marshals with the U.S. Marshals Service in the District of New Jersey; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration,
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah A. Sulkowski and Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
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