Feds: Jersey City gang member charged with gun possession, selling PCP

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A Jersey City gang member was charged with weapon possession, specifically a .40 caliber Taurus Model 740 semiautomatic handgun, and distributing Phencyclidine – better known as PCP – U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Jalil Burns, also known as “Big Ben,” 33, of Jersey City, was charged by complaint on August 4th with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute PCP, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Carpenito said in a statement.

Burns appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel and was detained.

On August, Burns was found in possession of a .40 caliber handgun, which was loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and a jar of Phencyclidine. In 2009, Burns was convicted in federal court of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

According to the criminal complaint, Burns was a passenger in a car that was speeding, leading to the vehicle being pulled over.

He admitted that he had a gun and drugs in a black fanny pack and did not try to be combative with police, the complaint said.

The charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the charge of possessing with intent to distribute PCP carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $1 million fine.

Finally, the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.

Carpenito credited the Jersey City Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and special agents of the FBI, with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest.