Monmouth County Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was sentenced to today to 30 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Khalil I. Howard, 24, of Neptune, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

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

On April 7, 2019, officers with the Asbury Park Police Department were on foot patrol in the area of the Asbury Park Gardens, a multi-building public housing complex known to local law enforcement as a high-crime area due to numerous recent gang, firearms, and narcotics-related investigations and arrests at that location. They had been advised of a gathering in honor of a recently deceased gang member that was taking place at the Asbury Park Gardens. The officers proceeded to the area where the gathering was taking place and conducted a walk-through of the premises. One of the officers observed Howard, a previously convicted felon, on the second floor attempting to conceal a large bulge in his left jacket pocket. Howard quickly turned with his left arm clenched to the side of his body and walked to the third floor. The officers ordered Howard to stop, and apprehended him. They found a stolen Beretta 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun, loaded with one round of 9-millimeter ammunition in the chamber and an additional seven rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition in the magazine, secreted inside Howard’s left jacket pocket. As a previously convicted felon, Howard is not permitted to possess firearms under federal law.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Howard to three years of supervised release. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, as well as officers of the Asbury Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police David Kelso, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the Criminal Division in Trenton.

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