YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office have arrested and charged five people in connection with an illegal gun used by a man who fired against Hackensack police officers and was shot several times in return.
These include a Paramus man who they said gave 22-year-old Robert Leonardis the .45-caliber handgun and a Cliffside Park man who had it shipped here from Florida via UPS, then sold it for $500.
Leonardis used the weapon to fire at a police cruiser — with one round hitting the hood and another going through the windshield, narrowly missing the officer driving – while being chased before dawn on July 22, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
Officers returned fire, striking him several times.
Leonardis has remained in critical condition at Hackensack University Medical Center since then. He is charged with a variety of offenses, including attempted murder of a police officer.
Investigators traced the firearm to Florida, which has “lenient gun laws and only requires a driver’s license” to buy one, Molinelli said in announcing the arrests this morning.
“A former law enforcement official from Florida sold the gun legally to a pawn shop, which in turn re-sold the gun to an unidentified individual,” Molinelli said.
A series of searches on July 25 led to five subsequent arrests by detectives from his office’s Major Crimes Unit:
SEAN STARK , 23, of Paramus, provided the handgun to Leonardis, the prosecutor said. He was being held on $300,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Possession of a Handgun during the Commission of a Crime, CDS Distribution, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of Ecstasy and Possession of Psilocybin. A theft charge was added on July 29, boosting his bail by $50,000 from $250,000.
JERRY A. NUNEZ , a/k/a “Angel” Nunez, 21, of Cliffside Park, imported the handgun into New Jersey via UPS from a connection in Florida, then sold it to Stark for $500, Molinelli said. Nunez was being held on $250,000 bail, charged with Transporting a Firearm into New Jersey for Unlawful Sale, Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Ecstasy, Possession of Ecstasy, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana.
JORGE ALBERTO RODRIGUEZ , 21, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, is accused of selling the gun to Jerry Nunez for $500 and shipping it from Florida to New Jersey. Rodriguez was located and arrested by detectives from the Major Crimes Unit along with members of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department on July 30, 2013, Molinelli said. He is charged with Unlawfully Transporting a Firearm into the State of New Jersey for an Unlawful Sale or Transfer. He also has been charged in Florida as a fugitive from justice and was being held in the Broward County Jail pending extradition to Bergen County.
CHRISTIANA L. CYRIAX , 22, of Upper Saddle River, was involved in the distribution of drugs with Stark, her boyfriend, Molinelli said. She has been charged on a summons with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of Ecstasy and Possession of Psilocybin, he said.
ALEXANDER J. KIM , 23, Paramus, an associate of Stark’s who lives at the same address, has been charged on a summons with Possession of Ecstasy and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
PHOTOS, ABOVE: SEAN STARK, JERRY A. NUNEZ, ALEXANDER J. KIM (MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BCPO)
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