staff and wire reports
CAMDEN, N.J. — Authorities say a gun trafficking ring was transporting illegal firearms from Ohio to New Jersey.
Officials say the guns, including assault rifles, were sold to criminals in Camden.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewel will announce arrests during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
In 2016, a New Jersey man was sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling more than 200 handguns to criminals in the Camden area. Most of those guns were purchased in Ohio from unlicensed sellers at gun shows or through so-called “straw purchases” made by associates, prosecutors said at the time.
According to federal prosecutors here in Ohio, the gun used to kill Westerville police officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli on Saturday had been acquired through a straw purchase.
Prosecutors say Gerald A. Lawson III, of Warrensville Heights in suburban Cleveland, bought the Glock semi-automatic handgun that Quentin L. Smith used to shoot and kill the Westerville officers.
Smith’s wife told officers in November that he carried a gun with him at all times, purchased by a friend with money he provided, according to an incident report compiled by Westerville police.
Lawson, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of charges related to supplying a gun to a known felon, was arrested Monday and remains in custody of federal marshals, with a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday.