New Jersey and New York law enforcement officials have announced the seizure of 100 guns and 200 large capacity ammunition magazines (LCMs), as well as the arrest of a woman, in connection to the theft of the firearms from a Vermont importer.
According to reports, most of the stolen cargo was found stashed in a Hudson County storage facility.
The handguns, which were all brand new, were each equipped with two LCMs and represent one of the largest weapons seizures in New Jersey in recent years. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provided assistance in the investigation.
The suspect charged for possession of the stolen firearms was identified as 43-year-old Claudine Kammo of Union City, New Jersey.
She has been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of the firearms, third-degree receiving stolen property, fourth-degree violation of gun permitting regulations, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of LCMs.
If found guilty, Kammo could face up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
The recovery of the stolen firearms is the result of a fast-moving interstate action between the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking North Unit (WTNU) and the New York Police Department Intelligence Division.
The investigation began on Thursday, March 16, when NYPD Intelligence detectives contacted NJSP detectives with information about a shipment of guns and ammunition believed to have been stolen during transfer from tractor trailer to rail car in Hudson County.
Working together, detectives from both states were able to determine that the stolen weapons were being kept in a storage facility on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, NJ.
The following day, detectives from both NJSP and NYPD executed a search warrant at the storage unit and recovered 97 Canik TP9 Elite SC 9 mm semi-automatic handguns and 194 LCMs packed in their shipping boxes and loaded in cardboard crates.
The remaining handguns and LCMs from the stolen cargo were seized separately by detectives.
“Keeping illegal weapons out of our communities to combat gun violence is a law enforcement strategy that transcends state lines,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “Thanks to the quick action and teamwork of detectives in New Jersey and New York, today we are able to announce a major victory in our shared mission to keep our residents safe.”
Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, added: “There is little doubt that the 100 guns seized in this investigation would be used for violence and intimidation, and they have no place in communities on either side of the Hudson River.”
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Deputy Attorneys General Jesse Magliulo and William Stevens are prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice, while defense attorney Daniel J. Welsh is representing Kammo.
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