(STL.News) – A high-ranking member of a violent street gang operating in Jersey City, New Jersey, made his initial court appearance today on charges he possessed a weapon as a convicted felon, possessed Phencyclidine (more commonly known as PCP) with intent to distribute, and possessed a firearm in furtherance of his PCP distribution, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jalil Burns, a/k/a “Big Ben,” 33, of Jersey City, was charged by complaint on Aug. 4, 2020, with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute PCP, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Burns appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Aug. 3, 2020, Burns was found in possession of a .40 caliber handgun, which was loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and a jar of Phencyclidine. In 2009, Burns was convicted in federal court of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
The charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possessing with intent to distribute Phencyclidine carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $1 million fine. The charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director James Shea; the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, Newark Field Division; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest.