Gun-toting felon gets 32 months after being nabbed hotdogging on bicycle

An Essex County man was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm after he was caught by police for showing off on a bicycle.

Joseph Triplett

Joseph Triplett, 32, of East Orange, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case, U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig and statements made in court, Newark Police Department officers were patrolling the area of South 8th Street when they observed Triplett, a previously convicted felon, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk and maneuvering around pedestrians, in violation of local ordinances on Sept. 6, 2019.

One of the police then identified himself as an officer, showed his badge, and ordered Triplett to stop. Triplett refused to stop and rode off in the opposite direction on the sidewalk.

The officers saw Triplett discard a black fanny pack that he had been wearing across his chest.

After the officers pursued and arrested Triplett, they retrieved the fanny pack from the street and found inside a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.

As a previously convicted felon, Triplett is not permitted to possess a firearm.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Triplett to three years of supervised release.

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