New Jersey State Police and the NYPD, assisted by federal agents, recovered the cache and arrested Claudine Kammo, 43, who they said was planning to sell the firearms and LCMs.
The shipment had been stolen during the transfer from a tractor-trailer to a railroad car headed to a Louisiana wholesaler from a gun importer in Vermont, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said on Saturday, March 25.
New York City police discovered the plot on Thursday and immediately notified their NJ State Police counterparts, the attorney general said.
Both agencies teamed up, assisted by agents from the ATF, to execute a search warrant on Friday at the Tonnelle Avenue storage unit that Platkin said was rented by Kammo.
They found 97 Canik TP9 Elite SC 9 mm semi-automatic handguns and 194 LCMs “packed in their shipping boxes and loaded in cardboard crates,” the attorney general said.
“The remaining handguns and LCMs from the stolen cargo were seized separately by detectives,” he said.
It was one of the largest weapons seizures in New Jersey in recent years, Platkin said.
Kammo was known to authorities, having been arrested just two months ago by Secaucus police who charged her and a relative with stealing $15,000 worth of clothing from the Jimmy Jazz outlet off Enterprise Avenue. She remained in state custody on Saturday pending a first court appearance.
She remained in state custody on Saturday -- not even 48 hours after the tip came in -- charged with unlawful possession of the guns, as well as the large-capacity magazines, in addition to receiving stolen property and violating gun permit regulations.
Platkin cited the “fast-moving interstate action” between the NJSP Weapons Trafficking North Unit (WTNU) and the NYPD Intelligence Division, assisted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“Keeping illegal weapons out of our communities to combat gun violence is a law enforcement strategy that transcends state lines,” the attorney general said.
“There is little doubt that the 100 guns seized in this investigation would be used for violence and intimidation,” NJ State Police Supt. Col. Patrick J. Callahan said. “They have no place in communities on either side of the Hudson River.”
Deputy Attorneys General Jesse Magliulo and William Stevens are prosecuting the case for the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
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