Man Facing Weapons Charges after Allegedly Leaving Gun in Warren County Hotel
Law enforcement officials in Greenwich Township are currently seeking a male suspect who is accused of leaving a shotgun in the Warren County hotel where he was staying. The man is reportedly a “Certain Person” in New Jersey, which means he is prohibited from possessing any type of weapon under State law.
Authorities at the Greenwich Township Police Department say they received a call from the America’s Best Value Inn in Warren County shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 25th. The caller told police that he was currently locked inside one of the hotel bathrooms and that there were other people in the room with weapons, including guns and knives.
When police arrived on the scene and searched the premises, they did not initially find the man or anyone else in either of the rooms. They did, however, discover blood in one of the rooms, as well as a 12-gauge shotgun in the other. Upon further investigation, officers found the caller, who was identified as 27-year-old Peter R. Minchella Jr., whose last known residence is in Oxford Township, also in Warren County.
After inquiring about the call, Minchella said he did not remember making it. However, he was the individual who paid for the two hotel rooms and is a “Certain Person” in New Jersey. This means that he is legally prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a weapon under New Jersey law. A person becomes a “certain person” when he or she is convicted of one of the applicable crimes set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(b).
Offenses that may make you a certain person in New Jersey, if you are found guilty, range from aggravated assault to drug distribution. Individuals who have been convicted of a disorderly persons offense such as simple assault, in connection with domestic violence, are also prohibited from possessing firearms in New Jersey and may be charged with a certain persons offense if they are found with such weapons.
Ultimately, police obtained a warrant for Minchella’s arrest, but have yet to take him into custody. He is now facing charges for unlawful possession of a weapon and a certain persons not to have weapons offense. Section N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(c) of the New Jersey Criminal Code addresses charges for unlawful possession of a weapon. According to this statute, it is a third degree crime for a person to illegally possess any rifle or shotgun. In New Jersey, a third degree crime is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence ranging from 3 to 5 years.
The outcome of this case remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: these charges could spell severe penalties if the defendant is ultimately convicted. At The Tormey Law Firm, our highly experienced criminal defense lawyers aggressively defend clients charged with weapons crimes and other offenses in Superior and Municipal Courts throughout Sussex and Warren County, New Jersey. If you or someone you love has been arrested, charged, or accused of a crime, contact our offices today for a cost-free consultation. One of our knowledgeable NJ criminal defense attorneys will answer all of your questions, explain your legal options, and explain how we can fight these charges.
For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: N.J. hotel guest accused of leaving shotgun in room