Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office arrests gunrunning pair after six-month probe

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A pair of Englewood residents were busted Thursday after an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office focused on the rising gun violence in the city.

Tahref Folkes, 26, and 23-year-old Briana Sampler have been arrested as a result of ‘Operation Safe City,’ according to county Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal. It was a six-month effort by the Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and Englewood Police Department.

From April 2015 through January 2017, there were reportedly 31 shootings in the city.
Since the operation began, 21 were arrested, including three charged with attempted murder and firearm possession, the prosecutor says.

In total, they did 10 searches of seven illegally possessed firearms and quantity of marijuana and cocaine, also recovering United States currency.

The police focused their attention on the Folkes residence, at 36 Oakland Street, where they found two loaded firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle, and numerous rounds of ammunition and high capacity magazines.

The charges against Folkes include possession of large-capacity ammunition/magazine, possession of an assault rifle, possession of a handgun in violation, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, escape, endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest.

Sampler’s charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance within a school zone, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Grewal say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis

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