A Gloucester County man who allegedly sold assault rifles to an undercover state trooper was indicted with eight other people in a gun-trafficking probe that took investigators across the country, authorities said Thursday.
Also facing charges are a Fort Dix soldier accused of unlawfully disposing of handguns purchased in Texas and a Trenton man who allegedly brought weapons from Virginia to sell to gang members back home.
"Guns illegally sold in New Jersey are often being bought by criminals who could not obtain them the right way, and criminals with guns equates to shooting deaths," Maj. Matt Wilson, commanding officer of the intelligence section of the New Jersey State Police, said in a statement.
State Attorney General Paula Dow, who brought the charges, said at a news conference that state investigators had teamed up with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to track weapons from out of state, where three-quarters of New Jersey's illegal guns originate.
The largest portion of illicit guns - 16 percent - come from Pennsylvania and the next highest, 9 percent, from Virginia, Dow's office said.
Authorities said they had arrested Glassboro resident Horace Dixon Jr., 49, in August in the parking lot of a bowling alley on Route 47 after he allegedly sold guns to an undercover member of the state police on two occasions. A search of his home allegedly uncovered a grenade launcher and more than 60 weapons, including a machine gun and assault rifles.
Dixon was indicted on charges that he sold four guns to the officer and for the seizure of seven weapons from his home and car. He is free on bail.
Fort Dix soldier William James Ivery, 30, faces charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and unlawful disposition of a firearm.
Authorities said Ivery had bought two .380-caliber handguns in Texas while stationed there and disposed of them unlawfully in New Jersey. Police recovered one from a stolen vehicle in New Brunswick.
They also accused him of mailing a third gun from Texas to Burlington County. Authorities said Hamilton resident Ronald Blakely, 29, had directed Ivery to mail a .49-caliber handgun to Maple Shade, where he and Trenton resident Abdul Smith, 28, retrieved it.
All three face counts of conspiracy, among other charges.
Trayle Beasley, 29, was charged with leading a gun-trafficking network that carried weapons from Virginia to Trenton. Some of those guns were recovered in connection with several homicide investigations and a narcotics investigation, authorities said.
Three men from Virginia and a fourth from New Jersey were charged with conspiring with him.