Linden Man Sentenced for Trafficking Assault Rifles, Conspiring to Distribute Bath Salts
Duquan Wells, 31, admitted he participated a semi-automatic rifle, a fully automatic rifle with large-capacity magazine, and .22-caliber revolver to an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police.
This release was received from the State Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Linden man was sentenced to prison today for selling two assault rifles and a revolver to an undercover detective who was part of a weapons trafficking investigation by the New Jersey State Police.
Duquan “Duke” Wells, 31, of Linden, was sentenced to five years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Stuart L. Peim in Union County. Wells pleaded guilty on Dec. 10 to second-degree counts of conspiracy, unlawful possession of an assault firearm, and unlawful possession of a handgun, as well as third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He also pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, MDPV, a drug known as “bath salts.”
Deputy Attorney General Betty Rodriguez prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Detective Sergeant Marc Friedenberger of the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking North Unit helped coordinate the investigation with many other law enforcement personnel.
The gun charges were contained in a May 9, 2012 indictment, which also charged a second man, Andre “Dre” Doss, 31, of Linden. Doss, who was arrested with Wells on Jan. 6, 2012 by the State Police, has also pleaded guilty. The drug conspiracy charge was contained in a second indictment against the two men. In pleading guilty, Wells admitted that in July and August 2011, he participated with Doss in the sales of an ITM Arms Co. semi-automatic rifle, a Tula Arsenal fully automatic rifle with large-capacity magazine, and .22-caliber revolver to an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police. Wells stated that he delivered the guns after Doss arranged the sales.
“Firearms of the type sold by this man are terribly efficient at inflicting death and mayhem,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “Through investigations such as this one and our gun buyback programs, we have taken thousands of guns off the street, including numerous assault weapons.”
“We will continue to work closely with the New Jersey State Police to lock up gun traffickers and seize their deadly wares, so they cannot be used to destroy lives and threaten law enforcement officers in our communities,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
“Some of the most intense work that troopers are called to do involves undercover operations. I’m proud of our detectives from the Weapons Trafficking Unit who have been so successful at taking guns away from criminals,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the State Police.
Doss pleaded guilty on Jan. 3 to conspiracy, unlawful possession of two assault firearms, and unlawful possession of a handgun, all in the second degree, and third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He also pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to distribute MDPV and third-degree conspiracy to distribute 5-Methoxy-diisopropyltryptamine, a drug known as “foxy.”
Doss admitted that in July and August 2011, he arranged and, with the help of Wells, completed the three gun sales to the undercover detective. Doss also admitted that on July 6, 2011, in Linden, he sold a Cobray MAC-11 9mm assault pistol to an informant working with the State Police. The state will recommend that Doss be sentenced to 10 years in prison, including five years of parole ineligibility. Judge Peim has scheduled Doss to be sentenced on April 15.