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August 30, 10

NEWS / South Jersey Man Indicted for Allegedly Wielding Loaded Gun Against Troopers and Possessing Illegal

Also charged with 2 other men in alleged conspiracy involving thefts of farm equipment

TRENTON Ė Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Gloucester County man was indicted on charges that he wielded a loaded handgun against two troopers and possessed numerous illegal weapons at his home, including assault rifles. He was also charged with two other men in an alleged conspiracy involving thefts of equipment from farms in South Jersey.

According to Director Taylor, the Division of Criminal Justice obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Brian Hinkel, 60, of Newfield, with second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose and third-degree aggravated assault on a police officer.

Those charges relate to an alleged assault that occurred on Jan. 26, 2009, when Detective Sgt. Michael Peterson and Trooper Dan Cunning of the New Jersey State Police went to Hinkelís house on Rosemont Avenue to question him about stolen farm equipment. Hinkel agreed to accompany them to the State Police barracks for questioning. However, after telling the troopers he wanted to get a coat from the house, he allegedly grabbed a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol off of a kitchen counter and began to turn toward the troopers. Peterson allegedly had to wrestle the gun away from Hinkel because he refused to obey commands to drop it.

Inside the house, the troopers saw numerous firearms in plain view. The State Police subsequently executed a search warrant and discovered approximately 258 guns, including illegal assault rifles and illegal large capacity magazines for semi-automatic rifles. As outlined below, he faces numerous charges in connection with those weapons.

In addition, Hinkel is charged, along with two other men, with third-degree conspiracy to commit theft and to receive stolen property. The two other men are Anthony Dalessandro, 44, of Williamstown, and Peter Monteleone Jr., 46, of Newfield.

The indictment stems from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police. Deputy Attorney General Jill Mayer presented the case to the grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The indictment was returned by the state grand jury on Friday, Aug. 27, but handed up in court today.

Dalessandro and Monteleone are charged with third-degree theft in connection with their alleged theft on Jan. 22, 2009 of two golf carts from a farm on Friendship Road in Upper Pittsgrove, Salem County. The farm owner allegedly spotted the two men at his farm loading equipment into a trailer attached to a Lincoln Navigator. He contacted the State Police, and followed the Navigator, which was stopped by troopers in Franklin Township, Gloucester County. Monteleone allegedly fled into a wooded area, but was later identified as the alleged accomplice.

Dalessandro and Monteleone are also charged with third-degree theft for stealing various items of equipment from three farms, including the farm in Upper Pittsgrove, a farm in Jobstown, and a farm in Egg Harbor Township. The stolen property included three tractors; tractor attachments including a plow, tillers, and seed and fertilizer spreaders; and various tools.

Hinkel is also charged in the indictment with third-degree receiving stolen property. Hinkel allegedly used a false identity to lease a 45-foot box trailer, which was delivered to his address and was allegedly loaded with equipment stolen from the three farms.

Hinkel faces numerous weapons offenses. The indictment charges Hinkel with four counts of third-degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm, in connection with a Calico .22-caliber long rifle semi-automatic carbine, a 7.62x39mm Norinco semi-automatic rifle, a .223-caliber Colt semi-automatic rifle, and a .30-caliber National Ordnance semi-automatic carbine.

He is also charged with 21 counts of fourth-degree possession of a prohibited weapon for 21 large capacity magazines that were seized.

Monteleone is charged with two counts of fourth-degree obstructing the administration of law for allegedly fleeing from state troopers during the stop of the Navigator on Jan. 22, 2009, and allegedly attempting to flee out the back of his house when troopers arrived to arrest him on March 20, 2009.

The second-degree charge against Hinkel of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, with a period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater. It also carries a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in state prison and a $10,000 fine. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Gloucester County, where the defendants will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment.

Detective Sgt. Michael Peterson and Trooper Daniel Cunning led the investigation for the New Jersey State Police. They were assisted by other law enforcement agencies, including the Franklin Township Police Department (Gloucester County), the Washington Township Police Department (Gloucester County), the Springfield Township Police Department (Burlington County), Mullica Township Police Department, and Yonkers (N.Y.) Police Department.




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