A convicted murder from New Jersey has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for unlawfully possessing a semi-automatic rifle while attempting to sell it to another person.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig says 59-year-old Edwin Gaines previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before a judge to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents,

On Feb. 15, 2019, Gaines, who previously had been convicted of murder in New Jersey Superior Court and who has other felony convictions, arranged to sell to another individual a Ruger .22 semi-automatic rifle as well as an extended magazine. The purchaser, however, was acting at the direction and supervision of law enforcement. In a video- and audio-recorded transaction in the basement of a Trenton residence, the individual purchased the rifle and magazine from Gaines using money that law enforcement had provided.

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In addition to the prison term, Gaines was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

dailyvoice.com reports Gaines pleaded guilty to felony murder in 1982 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Reports say he served nearly 20 years of that term.

Gaines was one of over two dozen people arrested in August, 2019, in a pair of takedowns in Trenton and Paterson. In those cases, fentanyl-laced heroin was seized that was responsible for 26 fatal overdoses. "A total of 22 guns, 18 large-capacity magazine, 11,000 doses of heroin and fentanyl, more than a pound and a half of cocaine and $52,000 in drug cash was seized," according to dailyvoice.com.

Honig says numerous agencies led to the sentencing, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the New Jersey State Police; and the Trenton Police Department.

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