An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was charged with illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic rifle as a previously convicted felon, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
The 46 year old male of Toms River, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was taken into federal custody yesterday and appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court, and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Oct. 24, 2021, at 3:05 a.m., Mantoloking and Bay Head police officers responded to the area of Herbert Street and Highway 35 in Mantoloking in response to a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a single vehicle. Officers found the perpetrator, a previously convicted felon, behind the wheel of his vehicle and observed a 5.56-millimeter semi-automatic rifle on the floorboard of the back seat of Barringer’s vehicle. The rifle was later found to be loaded with approximately 21 rounds of 5.56-millimeter full metal jacket ammunition. When officers ordered the perpetrator to step out of the vehicle, they observed that he was wearing a tactical, bullet-proof vest and an empty handgun holster on his hip. After taking him into custody, officers conducted a further search of his vehicle and discovered a black 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with no serial number (commonly referred to as a “ghost gun”), loaded with 14 rounds of hollow-point ammunition, three 9-millimeter pistol magazines loaded with hollow-point ammunition, and three 30-round rifle magazines loaded with 5.56-millimeter ammunition.
The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; officers of the Mantoloking Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stacy S. Ferris; and officers of the Bay Head Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police William A. Hoffman, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, officers from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, and officers from the Toms River Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Mitchell A. Little, for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.