Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Interim Officer-in-Charge NJSP Major Frederick Fife announced today that two men were arrested on gun charges, and two illegal firearms were recovered and taken out of the Paterson community thanks to the dedication of two detectives and one off-duty officer.
According to authorities, on Thursday, April 20, two detectives responded to a call of shots fired on Southard Street. Dispatch advised the officers the caller said she heard a loud bang and saw a gray Audi drive off.
Authorities say a short time later, an off-duty officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle and began following it while relaying the vehicle's location over his radio to responding officers.
The two original detectives caught up to the car and followed it until it pulled into a parking lot and stopped.
According to officials, at that time, they drew their weapons and ordered the occupants out of the car.
When the detectives searched the vehicle, they found a nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine capable of holding 30 bullets that Dariel Reyes, a passenger in the vehicle, possessed.
Officials say a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun loaded with 14 bullets was found in the possession of Erlyn Nunez, another passenger in the vehicle.
They were both arrested, taken to Paterson Police Headquarters, and booked on several gun charges.
Both men were charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, a second-degree crime, among other weapons charges, including possession of a prohibited device, specifically an extended magazine, a fourth-degree crime.
According to authorities, Dariel Reyes’ detention motion was granted on April 26. Erlyn Nunez’s detention motion was denied on April 26, and he was released on conditions.
“Removing illegal guns from our communities is critical to our public safety strategy in the City of Paterson and across New Jersey,” said Attorney General Platkin.
“I commend these officers for their bravery to get these weapons off the street and arresting these individuals without incident.”
“This is an example of great police work from all officers involved. For an off-duty officer to follow a suspect’s vehicle in their own car shows the commitment they have to the oath they took.
I want to thank those officers as well as their supervisors for a job well done to improve public safety in Paterson,” said Interim Officer-in-Charge NJSP Major Frederick Fife.