5 Suspects Arrested on Weapons and Drug Charges PDF Print E-mail
Newark - In separate incidents, Essex County sheriff's officers recovered a handgun, drugs and a stolen car last night and another stolen car and a hatchet on Sunday night. In all, five males, including four juveniles, were arrested. Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department's Patrol Division were conducting quality of life operations along Frelinghuysen Avenue when their marked cruiser was passed by a 1997 Mercedes Benz E32. As the Mercedes drove by, the electronic license plate reader in the cruiser signaled that the Mercedes had been reported stolen out of Newark on April 5, 2014. Sheriff Fontoura said the Mercedes was followed and when it pulled into the drive thru lane of a nearby McDonald's restaurant the officers blocked the exit with their vehicle. When the driver of the Mercedes spotted the sheriff's officers he quickly put the suspect vehicle into reverse and fled from the scene. Again, the Mercedes was followed. With additional sheriff's patrol cruisers now also tracking the suspect vehicle the Mercedes ran numerous red lights along Elizabeth Avene and finally crashed into a parked vehicle at Hunterdon Street and Watson Avenue. The driver, later identified as 22-year-old Kelvin Vega of Newark, ran but was quickly captured. A loaded, .45 caliber, PARA semi-automatic handgun and a plastic bag, containing Ecstasy and Xanax tablets, were found inside the cabin of the Mercedes. Vega was charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, eluding law enforcement officers, and two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The suspect was also issued motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, careless driving and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. Judge Roslyn Holmes Grant ordered Vega to be held at the county jail on $85,000 cash bond only. The suspect is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday. Sheriff Fontoura added that officers from his department's Patrol Division observed a 2002 Acura with four occupants traveling at a high rate of speed on South 18th Street shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. A check of the Acura's license plate confirmed that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Newark on April 1, 2014. The Acura was pulled over and it was discovered that the driver, a 17-year-old male from Newark, was in possession of a 15-inch hatchet. The driver was charged with receiving stolen property and possession of a weapon. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving and for being an unlicensed driver. Additionally, the driver found to be the subject of three outstanding warrants for receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon other than a firearm and causing false public alarm He was remanded to the Essex County Youth Detention Center and will answer to the new charges in Family Court later this week. The other three male occupants, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old from Newark and a 16-year-old from East Orange, were charged with possession of stolen property, released to their parents and will also appear in Family Court later this week.