NEWARK, NJ — The owner of a Keyport pawn shop has been charged with weapons possession after law enforcement officials found his telephone number in the pants' pocket of one of the suspects in last week's shooting in Jersey City.
Ahmed A-Hady, 35, has been charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. The weapon in question was found, along with other weapons and ammunition, during a lawful search of A-Hady's shop and residence connected to one of the perpetrators of the December 10 mass shooting that left six people dead, including Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals.
A-Hady was arrested by FBI agents early yesterday morning, December 14, and is expected to appear tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court, according to a statement by Carpenito.
The two shooting suspects —David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50 — were killed in the lengthy gun battle with police at a kosher grocery store after they murdered three bystanders there and Seals who was found dead at a nearby cemetery. No information was released on whether A-Hady had any involvement in providing them with the firearms used in the shootout.
In a statement, the U.S. Attorney Office's provided the following sequence of events that led to A-Hady's arrest.
After the December 10 shooting, law enforcement officials recovered a handwritten note in the right rear pocket of Anderson's pants, which contained a phone number ending in 4115 and a Keyport address. FBI agents determined that the phone number belonged to A-Hady, as officials also determined that the Keyport address was for a pawn shop.
Law enforcement obtained records of A-Hady’s history of firearm purchases. Those records indicated that around May 23, 2007, A-Hady purchased a Smith and Wesson .45 caliber handgun. Records also indicate that on or about June 2, 2007, A-Hady purchased a Smith and Wesson .44 caliber handgun.
After purchasing the firearms, A-Hady was convicted on April 2, 2012 in Monmouth County Superior Court, of attempting to obtain a controlled dangerous substance or analog by fraud, a crime punishable by more than one year in prison. As a result of that conviction, A-Hady is no longer permitted to possess a firearm.
On December 13, law enforcement officers traveled to the pawn shop and interviewed A-Hady and two of his relatives. During their interview with A-Hady, he admitted to owning both the .45 caliber and the .44 caliber, but falsely denied that they were on the premises.
After A-Hady was interviewed, one of his relatives told law enforcement that there was a safe located inside the shop that contained firearms, including A-Hady’s .44 and .45 caliber handguns. That relative consented to a search of the safe, where enforcement recovered three firearms: the Smith and Wesson .44 caliber handgun, as well as a PK 380 semiautomatic pistol and a Ruger 9mm.
Law enforcement then lawfully searched both the pawn shop and A-Hady’s private residence. During the search of the shop, law enforcement recovered six rifles (including three AR-15-style assault rifles), three handguns and one shotgun. In addition, during the searches of both locations, law enforcement recovered over 400 rounds of ammunition, including a large number of hollow-point bullets.
While law enforcement officials have said that Anderson and Graham were armed with an AR-15 style rifle and a shotgun, it was not disclosed if A-Hady had any involvement in providing them with firearms to carry out the murders of 40-year-old Jersey City Detective Joseph Shields, and Leah Minda Ferencz, 31, Moshe Hirsch Deutsch, 24, and Douglas Miguel Rodriguez Barzola, 49.
Carpenito credited the following agencies for their assistance in the investigation that led to A-Hady's arrest: Newark offices of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Office of the New Jersey Attorney General and New Jersey State Police. He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and Jersey City Police Department for their help.
The government is represented by Ronnell Wilson, chief of the National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dean C. Sovolos and Thomas S. Kearney, also of the National Security Unit.
A-Hady faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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