ONLY ON CVP: Two men charged with trafficking a handgun that a fleeing fugitive used to shoot at Hackensack police have rejected a final seven-year state prison plea deal from prosecutors and will go to trial in June.
Both Jerry “Angel” Nunez of Cliffside Park and Jorge Alberto Rodriguez of Pembroke Pines, FL, have been behind bars since July 25, 2013 and would have nearly two years of jail credit each by the time their trial begins.
Accepting the plea deal offered would end up freeing both in five years.
“So do you understand the state can ask for significantly more time if you’re convicted?” Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi asked Nunez and Rodriguez, both 22, yesterday.
“Yes,” each responded.
Nunez, for example, could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of a trio of gun possession and trafficking counts, along with four lesser marijuana and crystal meth possession charges, the judge said.
Rodriguez, who prosecutors say bought the gun in Florida, sold it to Nunez for $500 and shipped it to New Jersey via UPS, is also charged with two gun-trafficking offenses that carry 10-year prison sentences each, DeAvila-Silebi said.
Authorities said Nunez sold the gun to a third man, Sean Stark of Paramus.
Starks, they said, then gave it to Robert Leonardis of Hackensack — a self-proclaimed Bloods gang member who was wanted for the attempted murder of his girlfriend’s husband when he led Hackensack officers on a chase that ended in a violent confrontation the morning of July 22, 2013.
Leonardis is charged with the attempted murders of Sgt. James Dalton and Officers Joseph Ayoubi and Brett McCarthy, in addition to attempted reckless bodily injury against all three.
Ayoubi was “lucky to be alive” after a bullet fired by Leonardis shattered the windshield of his squad car and whizzed by his head, city Police Director Michael Mordaga told CLIFFVIEW PILOT after the shooting.
Leonardis was out on bail on attempted murder charges at the time for stabbing a Ridgefield man who broke into his home carrying a tire iron in a fight over the intruder’s wife, authorities said.
Dalton was first on the scene with another officer after a call came in of a man with a gun in the housing projects on Newman Street and Railroad Avenue.
Seeing the officers, Leonardis ran, Mordaga said. READ MORE….
The prosecutions of Stark and Leonardis are both still working their way through the court system.
Stark’s girlfriend, Christiana Cyriax, pleaded guilty last October to reduced charges while cooperating in the case.
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