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Ridgefield Park police find 17 weapons stashed at warehouse, arrest ex-con from Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Ridgefield Park police arrested a purported Pagans gang member from Pennsylvania who they said they found with 17 guns and armor-piercing ammunition stashed at the borough warehouse where he worked.

Forklift machinist Steven Prunkel, a 49-year-old ex-con from East Stroudsburg, was being held on $750,000 in the Bergen County Jail after village police arrested him at the Star Candle Co. warehouse on Industrial Avenue, just below Route 80.

Tipped off by the Pennsylvania State Police, detectives received the company owner’s permission just before 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon to search the 180,000-square-foot warehouse where the guns were stashed, Ridgefield Park Capt. Daniel Hippe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT subsequently learned that Prunkel — who was shot in the elbow a little over a year ago following an argument in the Lehigh Valley — has Pagan gang ties.

Hippe said he couldn’t confirm either disclosure.

“There are aspects of the case that we’re still investigating,” he said. “We are working cooperatively with the Pennsylvania State Police.”

Authorities don’t believe that Prunkel intended any violence locally, the captain said.

The charges against Prunkel include nine counts of illegal handgun possession, three each of possession of an assault weapon and a rifle or shotgun, two of having a sawed-off shotgun, and one each of having a large-capacity ammunition magazine and body armor-penetrating bullets, according to law enforcement records. He also is charged with being a felon in possession of weapons.

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