NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County man with a previous felony conviction was arrested yesterday for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Farrakhan Lovett, 24, Belleville, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. He made his initial appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) executed a search warrant on a vehicle that Lovett was observed driving in Belleville. They found a Taurus model G3 9x19mm firearm loaded with 18 rounds in a high-capacity magazine. Lovett was previously convicted of felonies in Essex County Superior Court.
The charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the ATF, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai, and the Belleville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Minichini, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the East Orange, Orange and Newark police departments for their assistance.
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 ensured 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.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Naazneen Khan of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.