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Lyndhurst PD: Story-Telling Ex-Con Just Released From Prison Has No Defense For Loaded Gun

Vincent Chan-Guillen
Vincent Chan-Guillen Photo Credit: COURTESY: NJ Department of Corrections

An ex-con paroled just four months ago had an answer for everything after a Lyndhurst police officer pulled him over, authorities said – except for why he had a loaded handgun in his trunk.

Vincent Chan-Guillen, 28, of Elizabeth quickly steered a Nissan Maxima into the parking lot of a Polito Avenue business when he realized Officer Joseph White was about to pull him over Friday afternoon, Detective Vincent Auteri said.

He then “parked haphazardly among other vehicles,” Auteri said.

Confronted by White, Chan-Guillen said he’d just left work on Valley Brook Avenue and wanted to see if he could get some water from an office building, the detective said.

As it turned out, Chan-Guillen was not only driving on a suspended license: He had a warrant for skipping traffic court, Auteri said.

He also was on parole after serving three years for drug and weapons convictions out of Union County, records show.

After a check of the license plate came up empty, Chan-Guillen “claimed to have borrowed the vehicle from a relative and indicated that the correct plates were probably somewhere in the car,” Auteri said.

During the search – in which the plates were never found – Chan-Guillen at first refused to open the trunk, then changed his mind once White and his backups said they were going to obtain a warrant, the detective said.

That’s where they found the .45-caliber handgun.

Police traced the Maxima’s VIN number to a Union County woman who, when contacted, said she’d sold the car.

Police determined that Chan-Guillen had bought it but didn’t register it, Auteri said.

Chan-Guillen was initially charged with weapons offenses – including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm – and taken to the Bergen County Jail. Additional charges were pending, Auteri said.

The detective thanked the state Department of Parole and a Bergen County sheriff’s K-9 unit that responded to the stop.

Assisting their colleague were Lyndhurst Police Sgt. John Castiglia, Detective Rich Holicki and Officers Chris Cuneo, Matt Giunta and Mark Rivera.

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