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Acting AG Bruck Announces 15 Indicted on Various Weapons Offenses in Trenton


Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the indictment of 15 individuals after an investigation by the New Jersey State Police led to the seizure of six guns, including two ghost guns, four high-capacity magazines, hollow-point ammunition, and drugs from a party bus traveling through Mercer County in October.

According to the Attorney Generals Office, on October 30, 2021, detectives with the Crime Suppression Central Unit learned that a party bus carrying multiple occupants in possession of weapons was traveling through Mercer County and that it would return to the Trenton area via Interstate 195.

Attorney Generals Office stated that in the early hours of October 31, detectives with the Crime Suppression Unit and Opioid Enforcement Task Force, along with members of the Trenton Police Department and Hamilton Police Department, located and stopped the bus on Interstate 195 in Hamilton Township. 

As detectives approached the bus, they observed the occupants allegedly attempting to conceal several weapons within the bus.

According to the Attorney Generals Office, the occupants of the bus were arrested. As a result of the investigation, detectives recovered three 9mm handguns, including two ghost guns, a .45 caliber handgun, a .40 caliber handgun, a .380 caliber handgun, four high-capacity magazines, hollow-point ammunition, and promethazine, a prescription syrup. 

A ghost gun is a firearm that is assembled from various parts that are not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, making them difficult for law enforcement to trace. 

“These guns are a danger to public safety, and we in law enforcement are committed to stopping violence and preventing criminals from getting their hands on illegal weapons,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. 

“Let this indictment be a warning to those engaging in criminal behavior: you will be held accountable.”

The following defendants were indicted on January 24 on unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, possession of hollow nose ammunition, unlawful possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and various weapons offenses. 

Defendants with an asterisk also face 2nd-degree certain persons not to have weapons charges:

  • Javon McKinney, 22, of Trenton
  • Jaquan Harper, 20, of Trenton
  • Jahmel Johnson*, 24, of Trenton
  • Joshus Chavis, 21, of Trenton
  • Tahvon Goss*, 23, of Trenton
  • Makai Brown, 21, of Atlanta, GA
  • Maurice Nance, 20, of Trenton
  • Harold Ruiz*, 22, of Trenton
  • Zaequan Cofield, 21, of Trenton
  • Khalil Glanton, 22, of Trenton
  • Daquane McRae*, 26, of Trenton
  • Zaire Leary*, 24, of Trenton
  • Daquan Lewis*, 27, of Trenton
  • Aaron Turner*, 31, of Trenton
  • Kena West*, 25, of Trenton

McKinney, Harper, Johnson, and Chavis are also charged with possession, receipt, or transfer of a community gun in connection with one of the firearms seized. 

A “community gun” is a firearm that is transferred among, between, or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.

This investigation is another step towards reducing gun violence in New Jersey, one of Acting Attorney General Bruck’s key priority areas. 

In addition to long-term enforcement actions, the Attorney General’s Office and local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are establishing a statewide gun violence task force, holding a series of gun buyback programs around the state this summer, as well as performing targeted sweeps of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants for violent offenses, as part of a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence.