Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that James Craft, 31, of Irvington was found guilty by an Essex County jury today.
The defendant was convicted of possession of crack cocaine and unlawful possession of a weapon – a handgun. Assistant Prosecutor Jason Curry tried the case before the Honorable Judge Michael L. Ravin. Following a three-day trial, the jury began deliberating on Jan. 30.
Assistant Prosecutor Curry said the incident occurred in Newark on Nov. 10, 2009 when Newark Police Department detectives went to the defendant’s mother’s home to arrest him on charges of aggravated assault. While in the home, they discovered five vials plus a small bag of cocaine on a dresser and Craft tossed a 9mm handgun as he climbed out the window. In connection with that November 2009 incident the jury convicted Craft on two counts.
After hearing the jury verdict, Craft pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and the charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon. The aggravated assault occurred on Oct. 24, 2009 when Craft fired a gun at a man.
“Craft has a long history of violent criminal acts. This conviction will keep a dangerous man off the streets for a long time,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Curry.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 22 before Judge Ravin. Craft, who has three prior adult convictions, faces 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. Craft was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, receiving stolen property and possession of a handgun.