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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Lt. Gerald Lewis - ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
Sgt. Julian Castellanos - ext. 6515

October 20, 2008

State Police/ATF Arrest Illegal Gun Dealer, Seize Assault Weapons

Chatham, N.J. - Attorney General Anne Milgram, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes and ATF Special Agent in Charge Matthew Horace today announced the arrest of a Chatham man for selling illegal guns including three assault weapons. David Charles Murray, 26, of Chatham, sold a total of eight illegal guns, including three assault weapons, to an undercover New Jersey trooper over approximately one month.

Detectives from the NJSP Street Gang Unit worked side by side with agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the investigation that followed guns purchased in Pennsylvania that were then defaced and sold illegally in New Jersey. Murray bought guns legally to transfer them illegally to another person – using a home address in Equinunk, Pa.

During the purchases, the undercover trooper witnessed Murray grind the serial numbers off each weapon with machinery at the auto repair shop in which he worked. At one meeting, Murray even sawed off the barrel of a shotgun. All the weapons sold came fully loaded with additional ammunition supplied to the undercover trooper.

On October 16, 2008, troopers and ATF agents arrested Murray at his place of employment, Glenn’s Automotive & Towing located in Chatham. In total, 10 weapons were seized, along with high capacity magazines and ammunition. Two AK-47 assault rifles were among the guns purchased in the investigation, along with approximately 600 rounds of hollow point ammunition for these infamous weapons. The other firearms were 2 shotguns, 5 semi-automatic handguns and one Kel-Tech semi-automatic pistol, which is an assault weapon.

“This investigation led to the arrest of a brazen trafficker who peddled assault weapons without regard to the law or the public’s safety,’’ Attorney General Milgram said. “Clearly, Murray’s stock in trade was the illegal sale of deadly weapons to violent criminals. We shut him down with strong detective work and the close cooperation between the State Police and ATF.’’

“Those who buy guns in other states to sell them illegally in New Jersey have their fingers on the triggers every time those weapons are used in crimes. We will vigorously pursue and arrest anyone involved in the trafficking of illegal firearms,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes.

“This is a classic example of collaborative law enforcement at every level. Our relationships with The New Jersey State Police and the United States Attorney’s Office support us fully in our goal to protect the public. These firearms will never be used in a crime, or to victimize citizens in New Jersey,” said ATF SAC Matthew Horace of the Newark office.

The Honorable Vincent J. McMann Jr. of the Chatham Borough Municipal Court set bail at $250,000, full cash for state charges and lodged in the Passaic County Jail.

Murray was charged with the illegal possession of firearms, including assault weapons, and the illegal possession of body armor penetrating bullets. He was also charged with the illegal possession and intent to distribute one kilo of cocaine.

Murray was arraigned this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Newark on federal weapons charges for illegally selling firearms without a license and for possessing firearms with serial numbers that he obliterated or altered.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the US Attorney’s Office oversaw the investigation and will handle the prosecution of Murray’s charges.

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