A man was recently arrested after allegedly impersonating a special investigator from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He is now facing multiple charges, including unlawful possession of a weapon, as he was reportedly found in possession of a gun, among other items, at the time of his arrest.
The investigation was prompted by a tip provided to the Passaic Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit, notifying them of a man who was allegedly carrying a police badge, gun, radio, and handcuffs. The man, 56-year-old Victor Caba, was traveling in a blue Volvo when officers pulled him over in the vicinity of Paulison Avenue and Oak Street at approximately 8:00 p.m. When the officers questioned him, Caba reportedly identified himself as a law enforcement officer, displaying an Essex County Sheriff s Office badge and ID.
A subsequent search revealed that Caba was in possession of three Essex County badges, an Essex County ID, handcuffs, a gun that fires blanks, a police radio, a PBA shield, a Fraternal Order of Police Newark Lodge jacket, and a shoulder patch from the Bergen County Sheriff s Office. Caba was arrested shortly thereafter and is now facing charges for impersonating a police officer and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was also cited for driving with a suspended license and was wanted on an active warrant out of Paterson.
Caba, who was released after posting bail in the amount of $75,000 just days after his arrest, will now have to address these serious allegations. Notably, he has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon even though the gun that he was allegedly carrying only fired blanks. In gun cases in New Jersey, the law applies to a broad range of items which can be classified as “handguns,” providing the following:
“A handgun is any pistol, revolver or other firearm in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol of similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed, or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, which was originally designed or manufactured to be fired by the use of a single hand and to eject a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.”
Due to the breadth of applicability in gun cases, an individual who is found to be in possession of a BB gun, airsoft gun, or antique gun can still be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon if said person does not obtain a valid firearms license in this state. These offenses entail severe punishments, including a mandatory term of imprisonment and minimum term of parole ineligibility, as mandated by New Jersey’s “Grave’s Act.”
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Passaic man charged with impersonating a cop