|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a gun trafficker from Newark was sentenced to state prison today for transporting illegal guns from Georgia into New Jersey on Amtrak so he could sell them on the street.
Leo T. Robinson, 41, of Newark, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including five year of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Sherry Hutchins-Henderson in Essex County. Robinson pleaded guilty on March 22 to all of the charges against him contained in a Nov. 15, 2012 indictment, including second-degree charges of unlawful possession of a weapon (3 counts), transporting firearms into the state for unlawful sale, and possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. He has 10 prior felony convictions, including aggravated assault and weapons offenses.
Robinson was arrested by the State Police on July 20, 2012 when he arrived at Newark Penn Station from Georgia on an Amtrak train allegedly carrying two black bags containing three semi-automatic pistols (one stolen and another with a defaced serial number), 23 illegal hollow-point bullets, and numerous other rounds. He planned to sell the guns and ammunition in New Jersey.
Deputy Attorney General Betty Rodriguez prosecuted Robinson and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
“We will continue to work aggressively to cut off the supply-chains by which illegal guns are entering New Jersey and being sold into the hands of violent criminals,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “This lengthy prison sentence will ensure that this trafficker will not be bringing guns into our state.”
“Working with the State Police and our other law enforcement partners, we are prosecuting scores of defendants for gun crimes, using New Jersey’s tough gun laws with their mandatory minimum prison terms,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are committed going forward to dedicating the resources necessary for these vital efforts to protect public safety.”
Robinson was among 57 defendants indicted last year as a result of an initiative launched by Attorney General Chiesa in which the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police are aggressively targeting gun violence through strategic investigations focused on seizing existing weapons in violent areas, disrupting weapons trafficking into those areas, and aggressively prosecuting criminals involved in the illegal sale and possession of weapons. 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. Last year, the State Police Intelligence Section more than doubled the number of detectives assigned specifically to weapons trafficking, forming new Weapons Trafficking North and South Units and seizing over triple the number of guns seized by the Section in each of the two prior years.