UPDATE: Former Essex Sheriff’s Office Employee Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Weapon

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Mr. Ignacio Pimentel, 43, of East Orange was sentenced to five years in state prison by the Honorable Alfonse J. Cifelli, Judge of the Superior Court, for second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun.

According to a statement released by The Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Pimentel must serve one year before he is eligible for parole, according to Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter J. Dirkin, who handled the case.

Officials say the charges arose from Pimentel’s employment as an armed security guard where he led his employer to believe that he was licensed to carry a weapon when, in fact, he was not.

According to officials, on Sept. 1, 2017, at approximately 4:30 p.m. detectives, acting on a tip, went to the 700 block of Mt. Prospect Avenue, in Newark, the location where Pimentel was working.

There, he was seen exiting the building wearing a tactical bulletproof vest while in possession of .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.

In addition to illegal possession of a handgun, Pimentel was also charged with carrying hollow point ammunition and possession of heroin and cocaine. In May, he pled guilty to illegally possessing the gun.

“This defendant violated the trust placed in him as an employee of the Essex County Sheriff's Department. While he was not a sworn law enforcement officer, he held a position of perceived authority and abused that perception to perpetuate these crimes,’’ said Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dirkin.

Pimentel has nine known criminal cases lodged against him, but this is his first indictable conviction according to officials. He was admitted to Pretrial Intervention in 1997 for receiving stolen property.