South Jersey Brothers Admit Roles in Conspiracy to Traffic Guns from South Carolina to New Jersey
CAMDEN, NJ—Two Camden men today admitted their roles in a conspiracy to sell 22 guns without a license, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Marcus Rutling, a/k/a “Fresh,” 33, of Camden, and Saluda, South Carolina, and his brother, Joseph Rutling, 24, of Camden, both pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to separate informations charging them each with one count of conspiring to deal firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between April 8, 2013, and July 28, 2014, Joseph and Marcus Rutling conspired with others to illegally sell firearms without a license, including handguns, shotguns, and an assault rifle. They obtained the firearms from pawn shops, gun stores and other sources in South Carolina and brought them to New Jersey, at times using Amtrak trains to transport the guns. Marcus Rutling personally sold or participated in the sale of at least seven firearms, including handguns and shotguns, to a witness cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Joseph Rutling personally sold or participated in the sale of at least 15 firearms, including handguns, shotguns and an assault rifle, also to an ATF cooperating witness. On at least five occasions, Joseph Rutling sold ammunition with the firearms.
The conspiracy charge to which Joseph and Marcus Rutling pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for June 8, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George Belsky, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, as well as officers from the Winslow Township and Clementon, New Jersey, police departments, for their work in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.