PATERSON, NJ – Authorities found a 12-gauge shotgun stashed behind a home in the 5th Avenue housing projects. They picked up a .30-caliber M-1 carbine rifle along a wooded path near some railroad tracks. They seized an AK-47-style assault rifle that was hidden near a busy corner of Broadway in Paterson.
Those are some of the weapons Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said were taken off the streets of Paterson through the Passaic River Corridor Initiative, a new collaboration in which the New Jersey State Police partnered with local and county law enforcement agencies in Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties.
In a press conference in Newark on Wednesday, Chiesa said state and local police worked with federal authorities to prevent violence, solve crimes and seize guns by sharing intelligence about crime patterns and about criminals who operate along the corridor extending from Newark to Paterson.
Since the initiative began in May, 405 arrests have been made and 76 guns have been seized, according to the Attorney General’s Office. It was not clear exactly how many of those arrests and confiscations were in Paterson.
“Each gun we seize potentially is a life saved. Each serious repeat offender we take off the street is one less criminal who might pull the trigger,’’ said Chiesa in a press release. “This is about doing all that we can to enhance the safety and quality of life of the people in these communities.”
Among the other weapons seized in Paterson were a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun in a Nike gym bag next to an abandoned building and a .25-caliber semi-auto handgun secreted in a toilet tank discarded at a street corner.