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Newark Felon Admits Possessing Weapon


A Newark man with a prior felony conviction today admitted illegally possessing a loaded handgun and a magazine, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Federal authorities said Bilal Ward, 29, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: 

On Sept. 26, 2020, pursuant to a lawful search of Ward’s car in Newark, law enforcement officers recovered a 9mm Taurus handgun, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, a magazine loaded with nine rounds of ammunition, and a bag of marijuana. 

Ward had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 7, 2022.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. 

Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at