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Friday February 12th, 2016 11:37PM

Commerce police help break up gun-running operation

By Staff
ATLANTA - A 27-year-old New Jersey man, Paul Boykins, a convicted felon who illegally acquired over 60 guns in Georgia and then drove them to New Jersey, has been sentenced to five years, eight months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story imposed the sentence on the Newark, New Jersey, man, who pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to make false statements to federally licensed firearms dealers and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Boykins' prison term is to be followed by five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, "Georgia holds the unfortunate distinction of being a top source state for firearms trafficking. This case highlights our continued efforts to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who come to our state for the purpose of illegally acquiring firearms for transport to other states, where they are often sold to criminals."

"This investigation is a testament to the collective resolve of federal and local law enforcement to stem the flow of illegal firearms from state to state," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow. "Our investigative history has shown us that gun trafficking fuels violence by criminals and criminal organizations, and threatens the security of the people of this great nation. The sentence today shows this criminal activity will not go unpunished in the northern judicial district of Georgia."

According Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Between May and October 2011, Boykins arranged for and paid co-conspirators to purchase over 60 guns from federally licensed firearms dealers in Metro Atlanta, and then transported the weapons to New Jersey. As a convicted felon, Boykins was prohibited from purchasing firearms.

On October 25, 2011, while he was en route to New Jersey, Boykins was stopped by officers with the Commerce Police Department for a traffic infraction. During a search of Boykins' vehicle, officers recovered nine firearms concealed in the trunk. In January 2012, officers with the Newark, New Jersey Police Department responded to a burglary in progress call and recovered a handgun that was connected to Boykins' firearms trafficking group.
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