A New York man serving 15 years for selling weapons he believed would be sent to terrorists overseas will not have his New Jersey teaching certificates waiting for him when he is released.

Theophilis "Mike" Burroughs, of Newark, was sentenced in 2015 after being convicted of first-degree criminal sale of a firearm, money laundering and tax fraud.

Robert Johnson, the Bronx district attorney at the time, said Burroughs had agreed to sell 13 weapons including assault rifles and hand guns, and had also bought 27,000 cartons of what he believed were untaxed cigarettes during exchanges with undercover officers. In addition to the weapons, he also had offered to sell explosives, night-vision goggles and illegal drugs.

Bronx District Attorney's Office
Bronx District Attorney's Office

Johnson said Burroughs believed the officers he was dealing with were connected to the terrorist organization Hamas, and had expressed support for them and other terror groups.

"It is particularly disturbing when someone who is tasked with educating our young commits crimes," Johnson said at the time. "It is more disturbing that he did so complicit in the belief he was promoting terrorism.

Prior to his arrest, Burroughs had been employed at prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. In New Jersey, where Johnson said he also faced various charges, Burroughs also held certificates for teaching music and the handicapped.

The New Jersey Department of Education State Board of Examiners rejected Burroughs’ arguments that his licenses should not be revoked because he was convicted in New York, he didn't teach in New Jersey, and the crime he was convicted for was "not one of the disqualifying offenses” listed for revoking teaching licenses in New Jersey.

The board ultimately voted to revoke his certificates in January, and the decision was formally adopted on March 3.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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