Police arrest suspected drug dealer in 4th Avenue raid, seize rifle | Paterson Times

Police arrest suspected drug dealer in 4th Avenue raid, seize rifle


City police officers arrested a suspected drug dealer in a Thursday night raid at a 4th Avenue home, according to police director Jerry Speziale.

Christopher Velez, 24, was arrested by police at about 1:33 a.m. on Thursday during a raid at 114 4th Avenue, said Speziale. Velez was found with two bags of marijuana at 114 4th Avenue, said the director.

Police also recovered 10 1/8 ounce bags of marijuana from the residence, said the director.

Immediately after Velez was handcuffed by police officers William Niebanck and Ryan Duffy charging him with drug possession and possession with the intent to distribute within a school zone, police received a tip that a .22 caliber long rifle was stashed inside a garbage can in front of 62 Butler Street.

Niebanck and Duffy recovered the weapon which was just few blocks away. Speziale said the concerned citizen indicated that while undercover police officers were moving in on Velez an individual was spotted placing a rifle into the garbage can.

“There was no substantial evidence to prove the firearm was in his [Velez's] possession,” said Speziale. “However, the community’s collaboration with the department and the removal of a dangerous rifle from the streets is paramount to reduce violent crime and taking one more gun off the streets.”