Monmouth County man sentenced to five years in prison for role in gun-smuggling conspiracy and possession of firearm as previously convicted felon | USAO-NJ

TRENTON, NJ – A Monmouth County, New Jersey man with a prior felony conviction was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm and conspiracy to illegally sell firearms to fire, including several handguns and a semi-automatic rifle, in and around Monmouth and Ocean Counties, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Javier Rodriguez-Valpais, 33, aka “Broly,” of Morganville, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to engaging in firearms trafficking and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Judge Thompson imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

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

From May 2020 to September 2020, Javier Rodriguez-Valpais and others were members of a gun trafficking conspiracy that stretched from Florida to New Jersey. Rodriguez-Valpais sold a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle to co-defendant Enrique Quijada, who in turn sold the rifle to an individual working in the direction and supervision of the FBI.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Thompson sentenced Rodriguez-Valpais to three years of probation.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited FBI Special Agents, Newark Division, under Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., with the investigation that led to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the FBI Tampa Division, the ATF Newark and Tampa Field Divisions, and the Freehold Borough, New Jersey, Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

In July 2021, the United States Department of Justice launched five interjurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal gun trafficking in key regions of the country. By leveraging existing resources, regional strike forces will provide better sustained and focused coordination across jurisdictions and help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities and in five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento Region and Washington, D.C. According to gun trace data, a significant number of firearms recovered in the New York/Northern New Jersey area are from outside the area. The new strike force will help ensure sustained and focused coordination between law enforcement and prosecutors in the New York/Northern New Jersey area with their counterparts in those other locations.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.

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