By Cleve Bryan


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CAMDEN N.J. (CBS) – Twelve people in New Jersey have been arrested following a year-long investigation dubbed “Operation Stone Wall,” which targeted so-called “ghost guns.” The guns, which have no serial numbers and can be bought online, were made illegal in New Jersey last year.

“Ghost guns are a real and dangerous menace,” New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal said.

Unveiling what they call a landmark case, a host of local and state police agencies announced the results of a year-long gun and drug trafficking investigation that netted six illegal ghost guns — firearms assembled from parts purchased online that became illegal in New Jersey last November.

“This is the first time any defendant has been charged in a ghost gun trafficking case under the new criminal statute,” New Jersey assistant attorney general Jill Mayer said.

Operation Stone Wall began as a cocaine ring investigation in Lindenwold last year. Police found evidence of illegal AR-15 rifles made from kits purchased online, and in some cases, shipped to Bensalem, Pennsylvania, to skirt New Jersey’s new law.

Without serial numbers, they are virtually untraceable and those who buy the kits, which Eyewitness News readily found online, can skirt background checks and gun registration requirements.

“They offer criminals, convicted felons, terrorists, domestic abusers — people who we all agree shouldn’t own firearms — the ability to access them,” Grewal said.

Twelve people are facing drug and/or illegal gun charges. While state officials can’t put a number on how many ghost guns may be in New Jersey, they say this case proves there is demand on the illegal gun market.

“We are starting to see them at crime scenes, we are starting to see them in our investigations and that’s why I say they are not an abstract threat. They are a real threat to public and law enforcement safety,” Grewal said.

The assault rifles allegedly were sold for prices ranging from $1,100 to $1,300 per gun.

A total of 13 guns were recovered in the investigation, including the six ghost gun AR-15 assault rifles and parts for two AR-15 ghost guns.

The below men were arrested and face the following charges:

  • Christopher Stoner, 41, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy (2nd degree – Firearms); Unlawful Possession of an Assault Rifle (2nd degree);  Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Assault Rifle (3rd degree); Unlawful Possession of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Possession of Firearm While Committing Drug Offense (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (1st degree); Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Nicholas Cilien, 38, of Mt. Ephraim, N.J. Conspiracy (2nd degree – Firearms); Unlawful Possession of an Assault Rifle (2nd degree); Possession of Firearm as Convicted Felon (2 counts, 2nd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Assault Rifle (3rd degree); Unlawful Possession of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (1st degree); Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree); Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree); Possession of Xanax with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree).
  • Paul Corum, 43, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy (2nd degree – Firearms); Unlawful Possession of an Assault Rifle (2nd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Assault Rifle (3rd degree); Unlawful Possession of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Purchase of Firearm Parts to Manufacture Untraceable Firearm (3rd degree).
  • Lamont White, 43, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Bryheem Belcher, 33, of Magnolia, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Michael Smith, 48, of Woodbury Heights, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Fabian Sapp, 45, of Sicklerville, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Devon Davis, 31, of Chesilhurst, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Monroe Gadson, 28, of Camden, N.J.  Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree); Possession of Firearm as Convicted Felon (2 counts, 2nd degree); Possession of Firearm While Committing Drug Offense (2nd degree); Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree); Possession of Marijuana (4th degree).
  • Tyriek Bradford, 20, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree); Distribution of Heroin (3rd degree); Possession of Heroin (3rd degree).
  • John Rayford, 41, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree); Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree); Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree).
  • Marc Freeman, 53, of Lindenwold, N.J. Conspiracy (2nd degree – Firearms); Unlawful Possession of an Assault Rifle (2nd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Assault Rifle (3rd degree); Unlawful Possession of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Unlawful Manufacture, Transport, Shipment, Sale, Disposition of Covert or Undetectable Firearm (3rd degree); Purchase of Firearm Parts to Manufacture Untraceable Firearm (3rd degree); Possession of a Weapon by Person Who Has Committed Domestic Violence Offense (3rd degree).