TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday that he had pardoned two veterans who had been convicted on charges of bringing their guns into the state.

Michael A. Golden, 68, of New Mexico, was arrested in November 2013 when he was found to have a gun in a Mahwah hotel. He was sentenced to one year probation and fined. Golden served his probation in New Mexico, where he had legally gotten the gun.

The second pardon was for James Michael Thaddeus Pedersen, 42, who serves as the director of Veterans Services in Moore County, North Carolina. In July 2014, Pedersen was arrested after he was found with a gun during a traffic incident in Runnemede. Like Golden, Pedersen was sentenced to probation and fined, serving his sentence in North Carolina.

During his time in office, Christie has pardoned several people, including military veterans, who have been convicted of gun charges when traveling to New Jersey from out of state.

Among his pardons was Pennsylvania resident Shaneen Allen, who had been arrested in 2013 for carrying a gun in New Jersey. Prior to the pardon, Allen had spent 40 days in jail and had lost her job as well as custody of her children.

Golden was a Vietnam War veteran where he had earned a Purple Heart for his service as an Army medic.  In his role as director of Veterans Services, Pedersen is tasked with helping disabled veterans get healthcare and other benefits and also helps families get benefits they are entitled to after the death of their military relatives.


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