A Morris County ex-con appears headed to state prison for the third time in just four years after Paterson police said they found him carrying a loaded gun, cocaine, pot and Xanax.
Daniel Wendt, 29, has been through this before. He spent 3½ years in separate station prison sentences on drug and weapons offenses before being released this past March.
Wendt had been charged in 2015 with drug offenses and attempted murder, among other counts, before pleading guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon following a shooting in the parking lot of a Hanover motel.
Earlier this month, police in Sparta arrested Wendt after he gave them a fake name when they said they found pot and Oxycodone in what turned out to be an unregistered, uninsured Toyota Corolla with fake license plates.
Although they his criminal history convinced them to send him to the Morris County Jail, a judge released Wendt pending further court action under New Jersey’s bail reform law.
Paterson detectives chased down and seized Wendt again on Thursday following another traffic stop.
Wendt tossed a handgun as he ran following the stop at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Montgomery Street shortly after 5 p.m., city Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.
The 9mm Smith & Wesson MP9, which was stolen during a burglary in Columbia, SC, was loaded with eight rounds, including one in the chamber, Speziale said.
Wendt also was carrying cocaine, pot, Xanax and $1,381 in suspected drug cash, the director said.
He was the second ex-con whom Paterson police caught carrying a gun Thursday.
After spending nearly three years in state prison, a recently-released parolee was caught with one thanks to a city surveillance camera, authorities said.
Police charged him with a host of drug and weapons offenses, including – once again – being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Wendt remained held Saturday in the Passaic County Jail pending further court action.
NOTE: Reports in other media incorrectly identify Wendt, of Boonton, as from Bogota.
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