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Fort Lee police grab three in BB slingshot attacks

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

2460 Lemoine Ave. (left), 2450 (right)

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Fort Lee police investigating a series of possible bullet holes in business windows seized several weapons — including high-velocity slingshots — along with large steel-ball ammo, while arresting three local men.

Lt. Andrea Cappola, Detectives Thomas Keelen and Edward Young and Officers Vassilios Traintafillou and Dean Mirkovic cracked the case while investigating what turned out to be the last in a week-long series of incidents yesterday afternoon, Detective Capt. Stanley Zon said this afternoon.

In each case, large steel ball bearings were recovered, Zon said.

While inspecting damage at a five-story commercial building at 2460 Lemoine Avenue, the officers traced the trajectory to a smaller neighboring corner building, the captain said.

They noticed that occupants of one apartment, in particular, closed the windows and lowered the blinds when they arrived, he said.

The trio consented to a search of the apartment, where the officers found “both store bought and manufactured” high-velocity sling-shot and wrist- shot devices, a machete, large knives, a large ax and archery equipment, Zon said.

“Also recovered was a case of large steel ball ammunition, consistent with the type discovered in previous incidents of criminal mischief,” the captain said.

Officers also found drug packaging paraphernalia, he said.

Arrested were:

Mustafa A. Hashmi, 24 ( above, left ), charged with seven counts of unlawful weapons possession, six counts each of weapons possession for an unlawful purpose and possessing prohibited weapons and devices, five counts of criminal michief and one count of manufacturing weapons and dangerous instruments.

Mohammad M. Hashmi, 20 ( middle ), charged with two counts of unlawful weapons possession and one each of possession of weapons for an unlawful purpose, of prohibited weapons and devices and of drug paraphernalia.

Nikoloz Macharashvili, 21 ( right ), charged with two counts of unlawful weapons possession and one each of possession of weapons for an unlawful purpose and of prohibited weapons and devices.

Mustafa A. Hashmi was being held on $50,000 bail and Mohammad M. Hashmi and Nikoloz Macharashvili on $2,500 each in the Bergen County Jail.

“Detectives involved in the investigation have contacted outside state agencies, including the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, for further investigation and assistance in this matter,” Zon added.

MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

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