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Lyndhurst arrests in robbery, shooting involved bogus pot buy

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Three men arrested before dawn this morning and charged in the armed robbery last month of a Lyndhurst man in which shots were fired had gone to his apartment under the pretense of buying pot — with the intent to rip him off, authorities told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

During a two-week investigation, Detective Ronald Guirland and Detective Sgts. John Kerner and John Mazure learned that the victim had met the defendants before, Police Chief James O’Connor said this morning. They also reviewed surveillance video shot in the area of Roosevelt School from that evening.

Police believe the trio went to the apartment, in the 500 block of Stuyvesant Avenue, specifically to rob the victim and not to buy pot, as they’d originally said.

“This case was a priority for us from the minute it occurred,” O’Connor told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “Most importantly, it involved a firearm that was discharged.

“But it also took place directly across the street from an elementary school.”

SEE: Lyndhurst man: Robbers fire 2 shots, take $200

After identifying the trio and their addresses, Lyndhurst police set up three strike units, with members of the department’s Special Response Team unit and the detectives, Capt. John J. Valente said.

They hit all three houses at the same time, coming up with their suspects — incuding the alleged gunman, 22-year-old Joey Colombo of Clifton — Valente told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Colombo was being held on $200,000 in the Bergen County Jail, charged with:

  • 1st-degree armed robbery – two counts;
  • 2nd-degree conspiracy to commit robbery;
  • 2nd-degree possession of a handgun — two counts;
  • 4th-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon;
  • 4th-degree aggravated assault.

Also arrested were Anthony Musleh, also 22, from Elmwood Park, and 18-year-old Virgilio Hiciano of Haledon.

They were being held on $150,000 bail each at the county lockup, charged with 1st-degree armed robbery – two counts — and 2nd-degree conspiracy to commit robbery.

Assisting Lyndhurst police were their counterparts from Clifton, Elmwood Park, Haledon and Paterson.

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