By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey state police say an enhanced effort aimed at illegal gun traffickers is paying off in urban centers across the state.
The number of troopers specifically assigned to curbing the weapons trade was doubled, from 10 to 20, at the start of the year. And so far they’ve gotten more than 100 weapons off streets across the Garden State during that time, according to attorney general Jeffrey Chiesa.
“In four months, the State Police intelligence section has already matched the number of guns it’s seized in all of 2010, and has nearly matched the number of guns it’s seized in 2011,” he said today.
Forty-two arrests and 29 indictments have followed, including that of 29-year-old Shawn Boles of Camden, already convicted of manslaughter, now charged with possessing three handguns and a cocaine stash.
Officials say much of the work involves the drug trade and gang activity. Maurice Belle of Willingboro, NJ, a reputed member of the Crips, is charged with selling a semi-automatic weapon to an undercover cop.