An attempt to conceal a loaded gun only brought more suspicion when a Millville police officer realized that one of a large group of men was acting in a suspicious manner and refusing to make eye contact.
Ptl. Matthew Radcliff was investigating a prior incident when he found an unruly crowd on a front porch in the 600 block of South 2nd Street.
He said Joshua Castro, 18, of Casarow Drive, Vineland, was acting strangely and kept his hand in his pocket.
He also gave a false name when questioned.
The officer later found a fully loaded handgun in the man's pocket.
Castro was charged with obstruction, hindering, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, failure to deliver it to police, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a handgun.
Kudos to Patrolman Radcliffe for an excellent catch. Now we, as residents are screwed, because some idiot judge in the county will slap Castro on the wrist and put him back on the streets, rather than keep him behind bars where he belongs.
For too many years the intelligentsia have blamed law-abiding gun-owners for gun crime. It is these same people that refuse to punish criminals, and yet they fail to see the insanity caused by their own failed philosophy.
Law-abiding gun-owners are not the problem. In fact, crimes are deterred every year, most with no shot ever being fired, that never make it into the newspaper. New Jersey strives to make it more and more difficult for a working class person to acquire a legal gun, and does absolutely nothing to take the illegal guns off the street along with the criminals.
Back in the 90's a city in Virginia began a pilot program where law enforcement made a concerted sweep, locking up violent criminals, and making sure that they served full sentences. The result? Crime dropped significantly and measurably. After that, city after city adopted this method, and it worked.
Worried about overcrowding at the jails? Release the people there for traffic tickets - there are less expensive alternatives! Ditto for minor drug offenses such as possession of pot. Use ankle bracelets and house arrest as a deterrent. There are other options! Community service, such as cleaning the streets and sidewalks in their own neighborhood is one of my favorites. Have them clean up gang graffiti.
Make room in the jails for those that have shown a propensity towards violence. Possession of an illegal gun IS a propensity towards violence - otherwise the punks would not have them!