A North Carolina truck driver has been spared additional jail time for possession of illegal weapons after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed the case was a misunderstanding of New Jersey’s weapons laws.
Saul Aguirre, 39, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was arrested in February for harboring a number of weapons in his vehicle including a sawed-off shotgun.
On Tuesday, a judge at the New Jersey Superior Court drastically reduced his time spent in prison to 125 days with two years probation.
During the hearing, his attorney, Karl Keys, appealed to the judge, saying that Aguirre was simply unaware of the laws surrounding possession of weapons in New Jersey.
“It’s an act of, for lack of a better term, a regulatory failure,” Keys said.
After pulling over Aguirre’s 2007 Freightliner for a missing rear license plate, officials discovered that the plate on the front of the rig had been reported stolen. Upon searching the cab, they found an Airsoft pistol, butterfly knife, .22-caliber revolver, a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun and hollow-point bullets, according to police.
Aguirre, who plead guilty to reduced weapons charge, admitted that he made an oversight of the state’s regulations, and told the court he regrets the decision. Judge Ann Bartlett agreed he should have looked further into the weapon’s laws.
“I’m surprised the shippers, the people who sent you to New Jersey, don’t advise you of these things,” she said.
The sentence was part of a deal proposed by prosecutors, who say Aguirre no longer poses a risk. As part of his sentence, Aguirre must forfeit all weapons found in his vehicle at the time of arrest. He was released on Tuesday.