New Jersey man pleads guilty to selling guns without a license

A New Jersey man pleaded guilty this week in federal court to selling more than 100 handguns without a license, according to the Department of Justice.

Fr’Neil Hickson, 38, of Cherry Hill, admitted selling the firearms between December 2009 and April 2013 to a drug dealer in Camden. The guns came mostly from unlicensed sellers at gun shows in Ohio who didn’t perform background checks, according to court documents. A few other guns came from straw purchases in Ohio, as well.

Hickson said in court some of the guns came equipped with extended magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Federal authorities arrested Hickson during a traffic stop in Atlanta for the illegal possession of 12 handguns by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty in October 2016 and just completed his four-year sentence, according to the DOJ, but remained in federal custody over this new charge. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

Hickson’s arrest comes as part of a larger federal investigation called “Operation Buckeye,” which targets the illegal pipeline of guns trafficked into New Jersey from Ohio.

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