Ramon Velez, 37, pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of possession of a gun as a convicted felon on Sept. 9. He was arrested in November of last year and charged with selling several guns to an undercover detective or operative, including: an SKS assault rifle; a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun; a Remington 20-gauge shotgun; a Remington 30-06 rifle; a Hi Point 9mm pistol; and a Ruger .45-caliber pistol, Hoffman said. He was indicted in March.
He is one of 65 defendants indicted this year in connection with 94 illegal guns as a result of an initiative by the Attorney General’s Office that aggressively targets gun violence by seizing existing weapons in violent areas, disrupting the supply-chain of weapons trafficking into those areas, and aggressively prosecuting criminals involved in the illegal sale and possession of weapons.
The initiative, which began in May of 2012, has seen 122 defendants indicted in connection with 181 illegal guns, Hoffman said.
Most of the defendants are subject to the strict penalties applicable to Graves Act gun convictions, requiring mandatory periods of parole ineligibility of up to five years, according to Hoffman. The State Police Intelligence Section more than doubled the number of detectives assigned specifically to weapons trafficking last year under new Weapons Trafficking North and South Units. They seized more than triple the number of guns claimed by the Section in each of the two prior years.