†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: January 7, 2014

 

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New Brunswick man, cousin, plead guilty in city shooting

 

††††††††† Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that a New Brunswick man and his cousin have pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an imitation firearm that was used to shoot at a crowd on Seaman Street near Remsen Avenue in New Brunswick nearly two years ago.

 

Victor Rodriguez (DOB 3/6/92) and his cousin, Anthony Rodriguez, (DOB 10/15/90) also of New Brunswick, admitted possessing the replica 9mm Beretta handgun that fired blank rounds.

 

During a hearing on January 6, 2014 before Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz, the defendants told the court that the replica looked like a real weapon and said they knew that anyone who saw it would have believed it to be a real handgun.

 

Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Sheree Pitchford, the defendants will be placed on probation for terms of up to five years when they are sentenced on March 10, 2014.

 

A grand jury sitting in New Brunswick handed up an indictment against the defendants on November 7, 2012, following an intensive and thorough investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office.

 

Following a review of evidence and testimony, the grand jury considered and found no basis to file charges against two New Brunswick police officers who shot and wounded Victor Rodriguez when he fired the replica handgun toward the crowd on January 31, 2012.

 

Investigators from the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office immediately took control of the scene of the shooting, independently interviewed witnesses, collected evidence, and questioned neighborhood residents.

 

Anthony Caputo, director of the New Brunswick Police Department, said the decision by the defendants to plead guilty ďfurther demonstrates the actions of my officers were justified.Ē