A Union City woman was busted with 100 illegal handguns and 200 large capacity magazines in a North Bergen warehouse earlier this month, Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Claudine Kammo, 43, of Union City, is charged with second-degree unlawful possession of the firearms, third-degree receiving stolen property, fourth-degree violation of gun permitting regulations, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of large capacity magazines, Platkin said in a statement.
The firearms were stolen in transit between a Vermont firearms importer and a Louisiana weapons wholesaler and the arrest also involved assistance from the New Jersey State Police, New York Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
“Keeping illegal weapons out of our communities to combat gun violence is a law enforcement strategy that transcends state lines,” noted Platkin.
“Each of the handguns seized was accompanied by two large capacity magazines, which are illegal to possess in both states. Thanks to the quick action and teamwork of detectives in New Jersey and New York, today we are able to announce a major victory in our shared mission to keep our residents safe. ”
The investigation into the stolen cargo began on Thursday, March 16th, when NYPD Intelligence detectives contacted NJSP detectives with information about a shipment of guns and ammunition believed to have been stolen during transfer from tractor trailer to rail car in Hudson County.
Working together, detectives from both states were able to determine that the stolen weapons were being kept in a storage facility on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen.
The following day, detectives from both NJSP and NYPD executed a search warrant at the storage unit and recovered 97 Canik TP9 Elite SC 9 mm semi-automatic handguns and 194 LCMs packed in their shipping boxes and loaded in cardboard crates.
The remaining handguns and LCMs from the stolen cargo were seized separately by detectives.
Surveillance efforts and other investigatory means subsequently led to the arrest of Kammo.
“Our city and region are safer today because of the collaborative effort and exceptional dedication of everyone involved in this investigation,” added New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell.
“This case represents the NYPD’s steadfast work to protect those we serve by stopping the flow of illegal firearms and eradicating gun violence and I want to thank the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and our partners in the New Jersey State Police, the federal ATF, and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for their unwavering commitment to public safety.”
New Jersey law prohibits the possession and sale of firearm magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. LCMs allow a shooter to fire an unusually high number of bullets at a time, without requiring the shooter to even pause and reload.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Additionally, fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.