NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced Aug. 13 that an Essex County jury has convicted former Newark Police Officer Eddie Gonzalez, 39, of Newark, of illegally possession two weapons, following a trial before Superior Court Judge Nancy Sivilli.
On March 12, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit, the Newark Police Tactical Response Team and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Gonzalez’s home after obtaining information that Gonzalez may still have been in possession of two handguns after being served with a family court domestic violence restraining order.
When someone is served with a domestic violence restraining order, he or she is barred from having any contact with the victim or possessing weapons. Gonzalez did not turn over two handguns even though he had been served with a restraining order requiring him to immediately surrender all weapons.
The temporary restraining order stemmed from an allegation of harassment and stalking, filed against him by a former girlfriend.
“No one should knowingly disregard a family court temporary restraining order,” Assistant Prosecutor Tony Gutierrez, who handled the case, said. “The two main requirements of a restraining order are to have no contact with the victim and to surrender your weapons. This defendant chose to disregard an order of the court when he knew that he had an affirmative duty to surrender the two handguns that we ultimately discovered in his home.”
After the verdict was returned, Gutierrez made an application to have Gonzalez’s bail revoked. Sivilli granted the application and Gonzalez was taken into custody immediately.
Gonzalez is facing three to five years in New Jersey State Prison on both counts of these weapons convictions. At sentencing, the state will be asking that Gonzalez be sentenced to consecutive jail sentences.
A former Newark police officer, who was terminated, Gonzalez was out on bail after having been convicted in April of 2018 on four counts of false swearing and of one count of impersonating an officer. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 7.
Gonzalez also has two more pending indictments: one for two counts of stalking and one for six counts of contempt of court. Those are accusations; all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.