Essex County Man Admits Firearms and Narcotics Offenses

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted firearms and marijuana distribution offenses, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Shatuwan McCall, 20, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty by videoconference to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

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

On Dec. 4, 2020, at approximately 11:00 p.m., law enforcement officers were patrolling locations that had been the site of recent shootings and homicides while conducting a narcotics investigation in the vicinity of South 17th Street in Newark. They observed a vehicle, occupied by McCall and another individual, engaged in traffic violations. As the officers approached the vehicle and illuminated the occupants with their flashlights, they observed a large plastic bag containing a green leafy substance, suspected to be marijuana, on McCall’s lap.  Law enforcement officers also observed McCall moving his right arm and hand as though adjusting something in the vicinity of the passenger-side floorboard and noticed a handgun in McCall’s right hand. Law enforcement ultimately recovered approximately 15 bags of suspected marijuana, narcotics proceeds, and a .22 caliber Llama revolver loaded with six rounds of ammunition.

The count of being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking offense carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed on the other two counts. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited members of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Angelica M. Sinopole of the Organized Crime & Gangs Unit in Newark.

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