Carteret convict pleads guilty to illegal gun possession

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – A Middlesex County man today admitted illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced.

Sharome Neals, 27, of Carteret, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Dec. 30, 2019, Neals knowingly possessed a Glock 21 .45 caliber handgun loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition, and an additional 33 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition in his vehicle. Neals has two prior felony convictions, both involving firearms.

The charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 25, 2021.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; and the Secaucus Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Dennis Miller, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, for its assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassye Cole of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.