West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty To Illegally Selling Guns In New Jersey

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TRENTON – A Mount Hope, W.Va., man admitted to selling guns without a license and illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Rickie Joe Rakes Jr., a/k/a “Joseph A. Miller,” 36, pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to one count of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Between June 27, 2011, and July 12, 2011, Rakes sold 28 firearms on four separate occasions for profit and without a license. The 28 firearms included 12 pistols, eight revolvers, four rifles, three shotguns, and one derringer. Rakes, a previously convicted felon, transported the firearms from outside the state into New Jersey, where he sold them to a witness cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). All 28 weapons are now in the custody of law enforcement.

The illegal dealing count to which Rakes pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the unlawful possession as a convicted felon charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26.

Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew W. Horace, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan; the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano; the South Brunswick Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Raymond J. Hayducka and the Franklin Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Lawrence W. Roberts.


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