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Video Helps Federal Judge Convict Ex-Con Of Stashing Gun In Passaic Garbage Can

U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton Photo Credit: COURTESY: law.shu.edu

A federal judge in Newark convicted a Yonkers ex-con of having a gun in the city of Passaic, thanks to surveillance video that caught him stashing it in a garbage can before police showed up.

Francisco Vallejo, 28, had been convicted of three previous felonies and was prohibited from having a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito noted after U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton issued a guilty verdict on Thursday following a four-day bench trial.

City police responding to a June 7, 2015 call of shots fired detained Vallejo and then discovered a loaded .25-caliber handgun stashed in a nearby garbage can, Carpenito said.

Surveillance video “captured Vallejo stashing the firearm in the garbage can,” the U.S. attorney said, noting that the ex-con “was later found to have gunpowder residue on his hands.”

Wigenton could send Vallejo to prison for up 10 years and fine him up to $250,000 at a scheduled Nov. 5 sentencing.

Carpenito credited special agents of the Newark Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Passaic and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office for their roles leading to the guilty verdict, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Brendan Day and Senior Litigation Counsel R. Joseph Gribko of his Criminal Division in Trenton.

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