Tracey Crews was planning to tuck his toddler daughter into bed when the bullet pierced his neck. When police arrived, he was lying in the street outside his Trenton home as his wife frantically tried to stop the bleeding.

Although the September 2008 slaying has never been solved, authorities said Wednesday they arrested the man responsible for putting the 9-mm pistol in the killer’s hands.

Police said Trayle Beasley, 29, traded drugs for guns in small-town Virginia, using childhood friends there to obtain weapons he later sold to drug dealers and gang members in Trenton.

“They really didn’t care how these deadly weapons were being used,” Attorney General Paula Dow said. “What they wanted to do was turn a quick profit.”

Beasley’s indictment was one of three that state and federal authorities announced Wednesday. While unrelated, all stem from a partnership between the State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to trace weapons recovered in New Jersey. Officials said the task force has seized more than 230 weapons in the last two years, including nine assault weapons, a machine gun and even a grenade launcher.

The partnership enables complex investigations linking multiple guns to individual traffickers, especially when purchases are made in states with looser gun laws, officials said.

Source: Chris Megerian for

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