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Lyndhurst sex offender indicted in mailed gun case

Photo Credit: Courtesy LYNDHURST PD

ONLY ON CVP: A convicted sex offender from Lyndhurst who authorities said convinced a woman to mail him a handgun from Texas even though the law prevents felons from having any was indicted on weapons charges by a Bergen County grand jury.

Lyndhurst police and U.S. Postal Service inspectors grabbed 55-year-old Gilbert Violante when he showed up at the borough post office on Dec. 17 expecting to pick up the package, authorities said at the time.

Violante, who was also convicted of burglary in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., befriended the McAllen, Texas, woman on Facebook, Lyndhurst Police Chief James O’Connor told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

He “told her he was having a problem with rodents — as if that’s a problem here in New Jersey — and asked her to help him get a gun,” the chief said.

The woman bought a Phoenix Arms .22-caliber handgun through a catalog company and had it delivered to a licensed shop, then packaged the box in aluminum foil and packing peanuts (photo, above) and shipped it to Violante, O’Connor said.

Postal authorities in Texas became suspicious and interviewed the woman, then arranged to have Violante notified that the package had been delivered to the post office, the chief said.

The indictment charges Violante, who is registered as a sex offender in New Jersey, with two illegal weapons possession counts.

He remained held on $20,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on unlawful weapons charges. Authorities in New York state also have issued a detainer on him.

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