An Englewood ex-con struggled with police within arm’s reach of three stolen guns – at one point trying to take an officer’s weapon -- during a drug-den raid that produced four arrests, authorities said.
A Bergen County Regional SWAT Team, along with Dumont and Englewood police, joined county prosecutor’s detectives in the Friday raid of the Thompson Avenue home of Gavin Birthwright, 30, following what they said was a tip about extensive drug dealing there.
Birthwright, whose adult criminal record stretches back more than a decade, “fought with police and resisted arrest within reaching distance of three stolen handguns he kept in the residence, along with hollow point bullets, and marijuana,” Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said Monday.
At one point, Birthwright “attempted to disarm a law enforcement officer,” he said.
In the bedroom with him was Charle Sampson, a 21-year-old medical billing specialist, Calo said.
Both were taken into custody, along with two others who were in the home: Deshawn Stephens, 28, who the prosecutor said was carrying several bags of pot, and 21-year-old Jaquis Roberts, who he said had a small amount of marijuana on him.
Birthwright was charged with several weapons counts – including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm – as well as with resisting arrest, attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer and possession of a large-capacity ammo magazine, hollow-point bullets and the pot.
A judge nonetheless freed him hours later, under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law, pending a detention hearing this Wednesday.
Sampson also was ordered released on various weapons, ammunition and drug possession charges.
Stephens was released pending an Aug. 8 first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on drug charges.
Roberts was scheduled to be in court the same day to answer a summons for having a small amount of marijuana, Calo said.
The prosecutor thanked Dumont and Englewood police and the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team.
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