NEWARK, N.J. – A Sussex county man appeared in court today on charges that he possessed an arsenal of weapons, ammunition, and marijuana, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Joseph Rubino, 59, of Lafayette Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On July 24, 2019, following a motor vehicle accident, officers with the New Jersey State Police observed numerous weapons and ammunition inside Rubino’s crashed vehicle. After executing court-authorized search warrants on Rubino’s vehicle and residence, law enforcement recovered an arsenal of weapons and ammunition from Rubino’s car and house, including:
In addition to the firearms and ammunition, law enforcement recovered approximately 2.5 kilograms of marijuana from Rubino’s house.
The count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross profits or other proceeds to the defendant, whichever is greatest. The count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross profit or pecuniary loss, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Richard T. Burke, and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Francis A. Koch for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Naazneen Khan of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.