Federal authorities have been tracing guns seized from gangs in New Jersey, helping prosecutors bring broader cases of more significant impact, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said yesterday, according to NorthJersey.com. In one case, investigators tracked guns and ammo to an Ohio gun shop, where gang members collected scores of firearms, taking advantage of lax gun laws to recruit college students as straw buyers. “They were trafficking those guns back to New Jersey and killing our children on the streets of East Orange,” Christie said at Seton Hall University.
Gangs are a “huge problem” in New Jersey and must be attacked the same way authorities dismantled the Mafia, Christie said: “It’s going to take an equivalent amount of time and effort and commitment on our part to fight these gangs because they have filled the vacuum that the Mafia has left.” Gangs dominate the drug trade, smuggle guns and spread violence from city to suburb, Christie said. One Ohio gun was used to kill a man who appealed to a gang leader not to recruit his son, 10, as a drug mule. The leader “confronted this man in front of his wife and his child and shot him dead in the middle of the street,” Christie said. When the boy asked why he had been shot, the assailant said, “because he disrespected me.” “I don’t know what you do with people who have so little respect of human life,” Christie said.