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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Paterson PD: Oradell Fired Customs Agent Had Guns, Vest In Domestic Threats

Replica of the ballistic vests worn by U.S. Customs agents.
Replica of the ballistic vests worn by U.S. Customs agents. Photo Credit: COURTESY: britishtq

PATERSON, N.J. -- A fired Customs agent from Oradell had a handgun and a rifle, both loaded, and a ballistic vest in his car when Paterson police stopped him for in Elmwood Park threatening his former girlfriend and her current boyfriend with a gun, authorities said.

After responding to Broadway and East 26th Street in Paterson just before 7 a.m. Thursday, Lt. Louis Spagnaola spotted, followed and then pulled over a blue Mustang with California license plates in the Firestone parking lot on Broadway, Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said.

Spagnola got out with his service weapon drawn, but the driver "refused to open his door or lower his window," Speziale said.

Spagnola kept the driver covered until backups arrived from Paterson, Elmwood Park and Fair Lawn, he said.

Once he was removed, police found a fully-loaded Glock Model-17 9mm handgun with a ten-round magazine plus one round in the chamber, Speziale said.

They also seized an S&W M&P AR-15 rifle with two loaded 30-round magazines and the ballistic vest, which had been reported stolen.

Ryan Pagan, 34, "identified himself as a United States Customs and border patrol officer," the police director said. "A check with the Department of Homeland Security (HIS) revealed that the suspect was terminated from Customs in 2012 and that he never returned his ballistic vest [which is why it was listed as stolen]."

Police charged him with a variety of offenses, including harassment, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property and a host of weapons offenses.

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