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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek Tuesday, April 19, 2022 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Says Port Jervis Man Pled Guilty in Illegal Assault Rifle Case after Narcotics Investigation
Defendant Admits to Possessing Illegal Assault Weapon
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Steven Velez, a/k/a “Shooter”, 31, of Port Jervis, pled guilty in Orange County Court to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Velez pled guilty, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that he serve six years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced on June 10, 2022.
After a months-long narcotics investigation, on June 8, 2021, Port Jervis City Police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group executed warrants at two apartments located at the Port Jervis Townhouses at 111 Ryan Street in the City’s 3rd Ward. There, the police recovered a loaded, illegal 40 caliber High Point assault rifle that also had an illegal collapsible stock and pistol grip and forward hand grip. Also recovered at the locations were quantities of narcotics and another illegal handgun. At the time of the plea, Velez admitted that he possessed the illegal assault rifle.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation and the arrest of Velez. District Attorney Hoovler also thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for their assistance with the case.
“We cannot tolerate the possession and use of illegal firearms that so often go hand-in-hand with the narcotics trade,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The streets of the City of Port Jervis are safer now with these weapons out of the hands of this defendant. I commend the dedicated work of the police investigators in this case who saw to it that guns such as these cannot be used to harm other people.”
The case is prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.