A Hasbrouck Heights man was charged with trafficking untraceable “ghost guns.”
Michael Maresca, 32, was arrested outside the Macarthur Avenue home he grew up in following an investigation led by the state Division of Criminal Justice and Paterson police, authorities said.
Assisted by Hasbrouck Heights police, detectives armed with a warrant seized several illegal weapons from the home, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.
Maresca, who operated an aquarium installation and maintenance company, had sold two “ghost guns” for $1,650 each to an undercover investigator at the residence, the attorney general said.
One of them had an illegal 15-round magazine loaded with hollow-point bullets, he said.
Ghost guns, which are illegal in New Jersey, are assembled from kits that can be bought online, Grewal said.
They’re not registered and don’t have serial numbers, “making them difficult to trace and making it harder for law enforcement to solve gun crimes,” he said.
“In the midst of a pandemic, our detectives are doing all they can to address the scourge of gun violence in our cities,” Grewal said. “Law abiding residents don’t need these outlawed, untraceable guns, but they command a high price among criminals.”
Grewal said the weapons seized included two assault rifles, a fully operational ghost gun, a complete but disassembled ghost gun, two shotguns, a partial ghost gun and a pellet gun.
Also found, he said, were 18 illegal large-capacity magazines, “large amounts” of ammunition -- including illegal hollow-point and armor piercing rounds – and firearm building kits.
Maresca remained held Friday in the Bergen County Jail awaiting a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court on various weapons charges.
These include possession of an assault firearm, selling a gun without a serial number, purchasing parts to manufacture a firearm and possession of large-capacity magazines and hollow-point bullets, Grewal said.
Detective Keith Franco was the lead investigator for the state Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs & Organized Crime North Unit, Grewal said.
He also credited other detectives in the unit and with the Paterson Police Department Narcotics Unit.
Deputy Attorney General Angel Hector of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau is the lead prosecutor in the case, Grewal said.
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