Detectives Brian Culmone and Mohammed Bashir were in an unmarked car on East 18th Street approaching Park Avenue when they came upon an idling Dodge Caravan around 11:30 p.m. Monday, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.
Discovering that the license plates belonged to another vehicle, the detectives got out to investigate, he said.
They found the driver, 32-year-old city resident Jefferie Lowery, with a .380-caliber Taurus handgun and took him into custody after a brief struggle, Speziale said.
Lowery spent two separate stretches in state prison, from January 2016 to April 2017 for robbery and eluding, and again from September 2019 until last April for a parole violation, records show.
Police this time sent Lowery to the Passaic County Jail to await a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson on charges that include being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The seizure was the latest in what’s become an ongoing string of gun seizures by Paterson’s finest.
It began with 21 in January, followed by 26 last month, Speziale said.
The director said he was “inspired” by the detectives’ “talent and tireless efforts to see situations for what they are in removing deadly guns from our streets."
Last Friday, the investigators got three high-powered firearms off those streets while seizing two young men and a 15-year-old boy.
It began, Speziale said, when detectives spotted Delsean Pinchom. 20. in front of a multi-family home in the 300 block of Hamilton Avenue.
Pinchom, who was wanted by the Major Crimes Division from a previous incident, ignored their commands to stop, ducking into the house, the director said.
While they went through the front door after him, Detectives Joseph Aboyoun and Mustafa Dombayci secured the rear.
Sure enough, they spotted Pinchom climbing a rear fire escape to the second floor while tossing what turned out to be a loaded .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, Speziale said.
The investigators retrieved the gun while fellow Detectives Luis Roca and Bashir surprised Pinchom, grabbing him as he entered a third-floor window, the director said.
Barely 90 minutes later, police were scouting out violent crime “hotpots” when they saw a gun in the waistband of Brian Figueroa, also 20, near the corner of Jefferson and North Main streets, Speziale said.
Alerted to the weapon, Detectives Anthony Castronova, William Hermann, Yamil Pimienta, and Bashir grabbed Figueroa without incident and recovered a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine, he said.
Another “hot spot” detail turned up another weapon less than two hours later after police said they saw a 15-year-old boy toss it to the ground on Arch Street.
Roca, Aboyoun and Culmone were involved in that seizure, as well, Speziale said.
The boy was sent to the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark to await a closed-door hearing in the Family Part of Superior Court on a delinquency complaint charging him with weapons offenses.
The adults, meanwhile, were sent to the Passaic County Jail to await first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.
The guns were being sent to the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Unit to determine whether they may have been used in crimes.
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