A man from Hasbrouck Heights has been arrested for allegedly trafficking untraceable “ghost guns” in Paterson, according to New Jersey attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal.
Michael Maresca, 32-year-old, was arrested outside of his residence on Thursday. He has been charged with numerous weapons offenses.
Maresca allegedly assembled ghost guns using kits that can be purchased online. Last month, he allegedly sold two ghost guns to an undercover officer. Each gun was sold for $1,650 at his residence.
Law enforcement officials later raided Maresca’s residence seizing 2 assault rifles, 1 fully operational ghost gun, 1 complete, but disassembled ghost gun, 1 partial ghost gun (lower receiver), 2 shotguns, 18 illegal large-capacity magazines, large amounts of ammunition, including illegal hollow-point and armor piercing rounds, build kits to make firearms, and 1 pellet gun.
“In the midst of a pandemic, our detectives are doing all they can to address the scourge of gun violence in our cities,” Grewal said. “A big part of our efforts has been to hold accountable those who fuel this gun violence by trafficking illegal firearms, especially ghost guns, in our state. Law abiding residents don’t need these outlawed, untraceable guns, but they command a high price among criminals.”
Ghost guns are not registered and lack serial numbers, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace and solve gun crimes. Governor Phil Murphy signed a law in 2018 that made it a crime to buy, manufacture, possess, or sell ghost guns in New Jersey.
“Once again, this is all about our strong partnership with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, that makes it clear, if you assist with, participate in, or profit from bloodshed in our community, we will hold you accountable,” public safety director Jerry Speziale said.
Maresca has been charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of an assault firearm, firearms without a serial number, sale of a manufactured firearm without a serial number, purchasing parts to manufacture a firearm, unlawful sale of a weapon, possession of illegal large-capacity magazines, sale of a large-capacity magazine, and possession of hollow-point bullets.
Maresca could face decades in state prison if convicted on the charges.