Defendant in Holland Tunnel Gun Case Gets Prison Time
The defendant in the high-profile Holland Tunnel gun cache case was recently sentenced to at least one year in prison, with a maximum term of five years, for attempting to travel from Pennsylvania to New York through the Holland Tunnel with a 12-gauge shotgun, an assault rifle with high-capacity magazines, five handguns – some which were loaded – and body armor.
On June 21, 2016, the suspect was travelling to New York to reportedly rescue a friend with a drug problem when he was pulled over outside of the Holland Tunnel due to a cracked windshield. Upon searching the vehicle, the authorities found the suspect’s stockpile of weapons, which resulted in multiple charges for the unlawful possession of a weapon and the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose; however, all of the weapons had been legally purchased and properly transported pursuant to Pennsylvania’s laws. Initially, the suspect attempted to get admitted into pretrial intervention (PTI), but the Hudson County Superior Court denied the application and, due to the Graves Act, the suspect received a mandatory prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of the unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
This case is a reminder of the fact that New Jersey gun laws are strict and carry severe penalties – even for first-time offenders with no prior criminal record and even for individuals from other states who, otherwise, own guns legally in their home state. The hard truth is that the New Jersey criminal code makes no exceptions for people from other states who come into New Jersey with firearms. In fact, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) states that “any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the second degree.” And N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(c) states that “any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun, without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
As it relates to the sentencing aspects of gun crimes in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c) states that a person who has been convicted of certain firearms crimes and other crimes while in the possession of a firearm “shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater…” Thus, in any gun possession case in New Jersey, the stakes are very high and prison time is a very likely outcome.
If you are facing charges for the unlawful possession of a firearm or the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, you should waste no time contacting the experienced New Jersey weapons defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm. We have successfully handled gun crime cases in Superior Courts throughout New Jersey and we are ready to help you 24/7. Contact us now.