2008-04-18 / Top Stories

Three Charged In Roadside Weapons Bust

By Nicholas Briano

Police arrested three Rockaway residents last week, when their minivan was pulled over during a routine traffic stop, and cops discovered that the car was full of strange and exotic weapons. During the search, police say, a loaded firearm was found strapped to one of the defendants.

Police sources say that officers from the 100 Precinct pulled over the 1998 Ford minivan after noticing it swerving dangerously from side to side near the intersection of Arverne Boulevard and Beach 56 Street, around 12:40 a.m., last Friday.

According to police, Richard Ward of Far Rockaway was driving the vehicle, which held two passengers, Larissa Johnson and Tarel Joshua, both of Far Rockaway.

Police officers immediately discovered a knife lying on the center console, which triggered a search of the entire vehicle.

Court records provided by District Attorney Richard Brown show that the search turned up a stun gun, dart gun, switchblades, cane sword, clubs, bludgeon, brass knuckles, slingshots, and ninja stars, among other weapons.

According to police, they found a loaded .22 - caliber hand gun strapped to Joshua's forearm. In addition to the loaded gun, police collected 20 rounds of ammunition and nine bags of marijuana inside his jacket pocket.

Joshua, 28, who lives at 415 Beach 29 Street, claimed to have found the gun. He is charged with second degree and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana. Joshua was arraigned this week and denied bail, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The other defendants, Ward and Johnson, have been charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon. Johnson was released on her own recognizance, and Ward was held on $10,000 bail.

All defendants are due in court on April 28, according to court records.

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