For Immediate Release
Guilty Verdict Against New York Man for Possessing Firearm as a Previously Convicted Felon
NEWARK, N.J. – A Yonkers, New York, man was convicted by a federal jury of possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Francisco Vallejo, 28, was convicted of possessing a firearm despite his three prior felony convictions in Passaic County Superior Court. Vallejo was convicted on July 26, 2018 following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial, on June 7, 2015, Vallejo was arrested in Passaic, New Jersey, after reports of a disturbance and gunshots were made to the Passaic Police Department. Responding officers detained Vallejo on the street, and thereafter located a loaded .25 caliber firearm in a nearby garbage can. A nearby security camera captured Vallejo stashing the firearm in the garbage can, and he was later found to have gunpowder residue on his hands.
Vallejo faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito, officers of the Passaic Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Luis A. Guzman, and officers of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Brendan Day and Senior Litigation Counsel R. Joseph Gribko of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Pasquale Giannetta Esq., Newark