Felon admits to possessing guns, being involved in shooting

NEWARK, NJ — An Essex County man admitted being a felon in possession of three different firearms on three different days in April and May 2019, and to using one of the firearms in a shooting, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced June 15.

Samaad Kelly, aka “Spud,” 33, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to an information charging him with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on April 24, 2019, officers from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office received information that Kelly was driving in Newark in a silver BMW with a temporary registration and was in possession of a firearm. The officers observed the BMW, which had a fictitious registration, and conducted a stop. Kelly, who was driving the BMW, could not provide the officers with any identification, registration or proof of insurance. After conducting a search of the BMW, the officers located a Taurus semiautomatic 9-millimeter handgun in the glove box. The officers arrested Kelly, and Kelly remained in custody until May 2, 2019, when he was released on bail.

On May 7, 2019, officers from the Newark Police Department responded to a report of gunshots near Astor Street in Newark. Upon their arrival, they found one 9-millimeter discharged shell casing and one 9-millimeter round of live ammunition. The officers obtained video footage from surveillance cameras located nearby, which showed Kelly point and fire a black handgun in the direction of another individual.

On May 10, 2019, detectives from the Newark Police Department were patrolling a section of Newark in the vicinity of Astor and Brunswick streets. One of the detectives observed Kelly wearing a fanny pack that appeared to be heavily weighed down. When the detectives approached Kelly, he immediately fled on foot. While running away from the detectives, Kelly unclipped the fanny pack and attempted to throw it over a fence. The detectives apprehended Kelly, recovered the fanny pack, and found inside of it a Ruger 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol, loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. The detectives arrested Kelly.

Kelly has numerous prior felony convictions, including one for attempted aggravated assault in 2008 and one for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in 2010. Each felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20.