Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that a Middlesex man was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for illegally transporting handguns into New Jersey for unlawful sale. The conviction stems from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that led to the seizure of five handguns and an assault rifle transported to New Jersey from Georgia.
Barrett R. Griffin, III, 33, of North Brunswick, NJ, was sentenced to an aggregate term of 11 years in prison, including a period of 6.8 years of parole ineligibility, in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Mark P. Tarantino in Burlington County on September 9, 2022. Griffin pleaded guilty on July 18, 2022 to second-degree transporting firearms into the state for unlawful sale or transfer and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
“Keeping illegal weapons out of our state and off our streets is paramount to public safety,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “We are aggressively targeting those responsible for the proliferation of guns and gun violence in our communities, and that includes gun traffickers who illegally transport weapons into our state and put them in the hands of criminals.”
“The prison sentence handed down to this defendant sends a clear message that we have zero tolerance for gun trafficking in New Jersey,” said Director Pearl Minato, of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with law enforcement partners throughout New Jersey and beyond to stop the illegal flow of firearms into our state and hold accountable all those who profit from it.”
Griffin was arrested earlier this year following an investigation by NJSP and the ATF. During the course of the investigation, a motor vehicle stop was made on the car Griffin was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mount Laurel, NJ on February 7, 2022. Following a search of the vehicle, detectives seized five handguns, one assault rifle, and four large capacity ammunition magazines from the vehicle’s trunk.
Deputy Attorney General Karen M. Bornstein prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis.
The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.