New Jersey

‘Ghost Guns' Seized in South Jersey During Cocaine Investigation, State Attorney General Says

Six AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle "ghost guns" were allegedly bought and assembled by two Camden County men. They then allegedly sold them to two other men.

What to Know

  • Six AR-15 ghost guns were confiscated as part of Operation Stone Wall, which began as a cocaine investigation.
  • Ghost guns are firearms sold online in parts, and then assembled after shipping. They have no registration.
  • Each firearm was then sold for $1,100 to $1,300.

The firearms are assembled through parts bought, then received by mail, through separate purchases online.

Their untraceability gives these firearms their moniker: "ghost guns."

And they are illegal in New Jersey under a law passed last fall.

The first arrests for buying and possessing ghost guns in the Garden State were announced Monday by the state Attorney General.

The guns at the center of the investigation called Operation Stone Wall, which resulted in charges against 14 people in and around Lindenwold and Camden, were not small.

They allegedly are designed after semi-automatic rifles called AR-15s, notorious firearms used in some of the country's recent mass killings.

Six AR-15 ghost guns were confiscated as part of Operation Stone Wall, which began as a cocaine investigation but evolved to involve gun trafficking, according to the Attorney General's office.

"This case starkly illustrates why ghost guns are so dangerous, because drug dealers and other criminals can easily acquire them and traffic them into our communities, where they will be virtually untraceable if used in a crime,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. "Assault rifles like these pose an especially deadly threat to law enforcement, innocent bystanders, and others when placed in the wrong hands, and suffice it to say no one conducted any background checks here."

Two Lindenwold men, Paul Corum and Marc Freeman, allegedly conspired with two other men, Christopher Stoner of Lindenwold and Nicholas Cilien of Mount Ephraim, to acquire the ghost guns.

Freeman allegedly assembled the guns he and Corum bought online. Each firearm was then sold for $1,100 to $1,300.

Corum allegedly told Cilien that the new criminal law had been passed barring ghost guns in New Jersey, and that the guns needed to be shipped to Pennsylvania.

"(We) just gotta go out of state now. You know what I’m saying? And then we gotta go across the border to go get it ... but it’s not a problem. ... Put it together and then, you know what I’m saying, give you a call and let you know," Corum allegedly told Cilien Feb. 8, three days before the sale of two AR-15 ghost guns, according to the Attorney General's office.

Corum was ordered detained until trial at a detention hearing held March 15. Stoner, Cilien and Freeman were being held in jail pending detention hearings.

Attorneys for Corum and Freeman were not immediately known. A message left for Stoner's attorney was not returned early Monday afternoon. Cilien's attorney declined to comment.

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