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Jersey City Man Released, After 30 Days in Jail for Mere Possession of Firearms in His Home
Bail Originally Set at Unattainable $75,000.

Keith Pantaleon of Jersey City, New Jersey

Keith Pantaleon of Jersey City, New Jersey

By Attorney Evan F. Nappen, PGNH Counsel

Evan Nappen

Evan Nappen

Hudson County, New Jersey --(Ammoland.com) At approximately 10pm on Thursday night, January 24, 2013, 33-year-old Keith Pantaleon of Jersey City, New Jersey, was in the bedroom of his apartment watching television after a full day’s work – when he heard thumping noises coming from his living room.

Believing that his residence may be being broken into, he grabbed his soft-bound Day Planner case (which also held a lawfully purchased handgun), and cracked open his bedroom door to investigate.

In the center of his living room, he saw a man dressed entirely in dark clothing who had his back towards him. He cracked open his door slightly further and saw near the entrance to his apartment a police officer, his landlord, and an EMT worker.

When the man dressed in dark clothing in the middle of his living room turned around, he saw it was another police officer.

One of the officers immediately ordered Pantaleon to come out of his bedroom. Pantaleon tossed his unopened Day Planner case onto his bed. As he went to close his bedroom door behind him, one of the officers pushed him into his living room. The officer then ordered Pantaleon to face a corner of his living room and handcuffed him. One of the officers allegedly threatened Pantaleon that if he had pulled out a firearm, he would have shot him. Officers asked if Pantaleon owned any firearms. To which, he did not reply.

As one of the officers watched Pantaleon (who remained in custody in Pantaleon’s living room), the other officer warrantlessly searched Pantaleon’s bedroom – which including opening cabinets and his Day Planner case – then demanded that Pantaleon provide the PIN# combination to his safe, which the officer proceeded to open and search.

After finding the handgun in Pantaleon’s Day Planner, the officer asked him if he possessed any more firearms. To which, Pantaleon indicated that he had a rifle on a top shelf in a box.

Officers claim that they announced their presence, yet at no time did Pantaleon hear officers announce their presence in his home. At no time during the home invasion was Pantaleon read his Miranda rights. At no time did Pantaleon grant permission for anyone to enter his apartment without his permission, no less police officers without a warrant.

On the night in question, Pantaleon’s upstairs neighbor allegedly complained to police about the landlord providing insufficient heat. The boiler for the apartment building is adjacent to the kitchen area of Pantaleon’s residence. Police apparently insisted that the landlord open Pantaleon’s residence on their behalf despite the extremely late hour and lack of consent by Pantaleon.

Officers then took Pantaleon to police headquarters, where, after further questioning, he was charged with unlawful possession of: two handguns, a rifle, an “assault rifle,” a large capacity magazine, and certain ammunition.

In New Jersey, permits to purchase firearms are not required for possession of firearms within one’s home. Possession of firearms within one’s residence is exempted under N.J.S. 2C:39-6e, as well as protected under the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on the Second Amendment in D.C. v. Heller and Chicago v. McDonald, and the ruling in the recently decided New Jersey Appellate Division matter, IMO of the Application for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun by Richard Pantano, A-1682-11T1 (February 22, 2013).

Pursuant to statute at issue, the ammunition in question is legal to possess since New Jersey’s ammunition prohibition only applies to handgun ammunition and the ammunition at issue is specifically designed for use in a rifle. The rifle at issue was allegedly an AR-15, one of the most commonly possessed type of rifle in America.

Pantaleon lawfully purchased his firearms as a prior resident of Pennsylvania. He also possesses permits to carry firearms from Nevada and Florida. Pantaleon has no prior criminal convictions and no mental health history. He is not accused of misusing or threatening to use any firearms. No unlawful purpose for said possessions has been alleged.

Despite the above, his bail was set at $75,000.00 cash or bond, which the 33-year-old did not have. A friend of Pantaleon’s, however, brought awareness of his matter on the Internet, which raised funds to hire the law firm of Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law PC to represent.

Louis P. Nappen, Esq. of the Nappen Law Firm (www.evannappen.com) immediately filed a Motion for Bail Reduction, which, after a hearing on February 27, resulted in Pantaleon being released on his own recognizance. Pantaleon had been incarcerated for over one month, since night of January 24.

Louis Nappen stated, “It is apparent that police violated Mr. Pantaleon’s rights protecting possession of firearms within one’s home, his 5th and 6th Amendment rights to remain silent and to be provided with an attorney before questioning and, most egregiously, his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Jersey City Police publicly smeared Pantaleon’s reputation with comparisons to Adam Lanza and by publication of a warning letter to local schools. See NJ.com Article .

Pantaleon was an IT Specialist for a highly respectable bank, a position he proudly garnered last year, and was recently noted for promotion.

He presently requires funding to proceed with his defense. If you would like to contribute to Pantaleon’s cause, please contact www.gofundme.com/Stand4Keith .

About:
Evan Nappen (www.EvanNappen.com) is a criminal defense attorney who has focused on New Jersey firearms and weapons law for over 23 years. He is the author of the New Jersey Gun Law Guide. Visit his website at www.EvanNappen.com

  • 53 User comments to “Possession of Firearms in Home, begets New Jersey Man 30 days in Jail”

    1. TexStan on March 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM said:

      This is just the type of behavior by “authorities” that the Amendments to the Constitution were meant to protect against. I hope that once all the evidence is heard, justice is served and the law of the land upheld.

    2. JimRed on March 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM said:

      Which of his liberal “friends” ratted him out as a dangerous firearm owner? The police had no reason to visit him, let alone search his quarters, unless that was the case.

    3. This should have never happened. The police never had the right to force the landlord to open another persons apt. The police also had no authority to arrest Mr. Pantaleon. All of his constitutional rights were violated. I do not fault him at all under these circumstances, however he certainly didn’t help himself by having illegal 30 rd magazines and the illegal AR-15. Had he followed the laws he most likely wouldn’t have been charged or held. From another article I read his rifle was not NJ compliant. I do not agree with NJ gun laws, however if you are going to be a responsible gun owner in this state you have to make sure you i’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed…

    4. He could have had 30 pounds of heroin in his bathroom and the search would have still been ILLEGAL.

    5. To all of my “reasonable” friends who say American Law Enforcement will never enforce unconstitutional gun laws or confiscation I say, READ THIS STORY

    6. Law enforcement officers in the U.S. are probably the most dangerous handlers of weapons there are, as they have lost the instinct to act with self-control and within the parameters of the law.

    7. BonHomme Richard on March 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM said:

      What kind of Wacko police department do they have in New Jersey?

      Someone needs to be fired……

    8. This is par for the course in the “Peoples Repubic of New Jersey.

      And the authorities will ALWAYS follow orders. Most of the victoms of the Holocaust were sent by the police.

    9. If your facts are correct, this is a travesty of justice. I can’t afford to donate money for the defense, but I and will pray for this man.

      If you are blessed with money, please have mercy and kick some in the defense fund for me.

    10. They don’t need to be fired. They need to be prosecuted,convicted and put in prison where they belong. The police in some instances have become more dangerous than the criminals. Just so you know I am no bleeding heart liberal. I am a Marine who did a combat tour in Nam. gun owner and a NRA member.

    11. JohnSmith on March 7, 2013 at 12:16 AM said:

      Mr. Pantaleon may have good cause for a substantial lawsuit. Unfortunately, the Public Servant that violated his rights will Not have to pay anything.
      The Public Servant will still have his Union Job and be able to retire after working for only 20 years.
      The Public Servant will still have his nice, cushy, gold-plated pension for the rest of his life.
      We the tax slaves will have to work 50 years of our life to pay for his mistakes and benefits.

    12. DaveGinOly on March 7, 2013 at 1:22 AM said:

      Under slightly different circumstances (low light, inability to discern that the intruders were policemen), Mr. Pantaleon would have been within his rights to cover the intruders with a firearm, and possibly to shoot them had they become threatening. The police put themselves, and Mr. Pantaleon, in jeopardy of their lives. “Stupid” doesn’t begin to describe their behavior.

      I’m unemployed, but will contribute. I’ve had it to the gills with the way police and other government agents behave, sick of firearms laws that make criminals of peaceable people, tired of the tail wagging the dog.

    13. Sounds like the police should be thanking this man for not using lethal force against their unlawful entry.

    14. This is the insanity that has to stop. One way or the other. Tyranny is becoming the norm, as cops are becoming increasingly dangerous, and stupid.

    15. D.Murphy on March 7, 2013 at 7:58 AM said:

      Welcome to the liberal “lock & key paradise”. Imagine what this country will become when the liberals finally disarm us all. They are reactionary statists and this type of police state behaviour will be common place..they so love control and compliance.

    16. John Goode on March 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM said:

      Any belief that the police will not come for your guns with deadly force should be cleared up with this article. When the time comes they will attack each of us dressed in military gear using military tactics. They are no longer police, they are armed military thugs with a badge. You will have two choices. Fight them and treat them as the enemy invaders they are or kneel down surrender and become a slave.

    17. Chris Rakes on March 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM said:

      this is equivalent to Rosa Parks. he should take NJPD to the mat. hopefully if his lawyer is a “gun lawyer”, then maybe they can get this fixed

    18. This is a great example about keeping your mouth shut about your fireams.The only two people that know the particulars about my weapons are my sons,..NO ONE ELSE ! This guy here must have some pantie waste liberal friend (he thought) that burned him. This story is really vague and doesn’t spell out the particulars of this case.I will notify the NRA about this and encourage all of you to do the same,for possible legal representation. This man deserves his weapons back now,an apology,and possible compensation. Not jail time.HBH

    19. AMONG OTHERS NEW JERSEY IS A NAZI STATE THE SAME AS NEW YORK STATE AND NEW YORK CITY. THATS RIGHT YOU JUST KEEP PUTTING MORE NAZIS IN OFFICE,YOU MAY BE NEXT IN LINE FOR A VISIT.
      ALL THAT HAS TO HAPPEN IS SOMEONE THAT DOESN’T LIKE YOU TELLS POLICE YOU HAVE A GUN OR DRUGS AND YOUR ASS WILL BE IN JAIL!

    20. i cant see why all these anti gun people think all law abiding gun owners are paranoid about all these resrictions they are trying to impose on us this is the perfect example

    21. Johnny Nightrider on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM said:

      My younger brother had a incident where they came into are home and arrested him and took him to a hospital.No charges we’re filed.The LAPD asked why my bedroom door was locked and I told them I had firearms in a locked safe in my room and only I go in that room.They said okay and left.The way Mr. Pantaleon was treated was wrong and his rights we’re violated.

    22. john poland on March 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM said:

      This case should go to the courts !! This mans Rights were violated . This is the action of a Police State !! Where is Gouvernor Christy !!! He should be Involved as Should Be the ACLU !!!! This is why some states Rightly SO have passed laws that police involved in such illegalities are subject to deadly force by citizens!

    23. Molon Labe on March 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM said:

      This is why I barricade my doors with Masterlock Dual-Function Security Bars.

      Even if someone managed to get the key, they can’t overcome the barrier.

      You don’t have any rights. You are able to build your own castle though.

    24. DrBayattheMoon on March 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM said:

      That performance by Rand Paul, last night, was all about the rules of society. In our case, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
      When any man or government entity believes itself to be all-powerful, that the rules of society don’t matter, then the rules don’t matter for anyone.
      These police and court officers should be identified from the public records, their homes located on a public forum, and they and their families should be made targets of public ridicule and any other retribution that
      the wronged party believes appropriate.
      When government stops fearing its citizens, we have become slaves to it.
      Jersey City, NY City, Des Moines, doesn’t matter.
      The time is upon us, the Oathkeepers, to show government who their masters are.
      We’re coming and your scary black suit won’t protect you.
      III/0317

    25. This example should be on every news program in the country. The police officers, the landlord, and the city should be sued for damages, and the officers dismissed. If the story is indeed factual, there is no excuse.

    26. Leon Trotter on March 7, 2013 at 4:40 PM said:

      One of the most egregious thing I have ever herd and that this happened in this Country.I do beleave it is only the start of thing to come if we let it, This is exactly what our forefather had in mind of stopping when they wrote our, ”meaning ALL people of the United States” constitution to protect us from what these two so called officers of the Law did to this person and what happened to innocent untel proven guilty. I have to say this kind of thing really worrys me and it should worry every one that reads this artical, this happens in other Countrys not our’s, is this not why our grandfathers fought in world war two. This is called TYRANNY or the start of it any way.

    27. New Jersey should have a strong vist from the NRA and the 2ASF. Why they are putting so little effort into NJ is beyond me. This man should get a herd of Lawyers and sue them all beginning with the city.

    28. IndyEric on March 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM said:

      Why don’t we have a copy of the police report? Why are we not searching out the arresting officers and humiliating them out of existence?

    29. If this incident happened as reported, this man’s 4th amendment rights were violated, along with a few others as well. As a 30 year veteran police Sergeant I find the incident appalling to say the least. They had no right to orderthe landlord to open the partment, they had no right to search his apartment. He should obtain counsel immediately, who should then request an evidence surpression hearing based on the illegal search and seizure of evidence, thus effectively nullifying his arrest. he should thyen file suit for Breaking and entering and false arrest by the police involved. If, as I say the article is an accurate depictioon of what happened.

    30. Carl Sudbrink on March 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM said:

      I was accused by a niece that I was ignorant for my writing about Obama and his doings on! I told her I was just stating the truth but not heard back from her!This is just a small part of which we are going to see if we do not do something now! to Stop BHO in his tracks!Look up narcissist and find out what it says and compare to Obama!, Also look up history about how Hitler took over Germany- then what out fraud president is doing!

    31. I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment and own many guns, and am a 25 year veteran Police Sergeant as well. What I am not is gullible. This version is written by a defense attorney with no input from anyone else, and nothing to back up any of it. Maybe he ought to save the embellishments for the courtroom. If it’s anything like he says, it’ll get booted right out of court.

    32. When my wife and I hired Mr. Nappen in 1998 for a firearms case, he basically told us that the NRA had written off N.J. as a lost cause. We have since moved to Minnesota after selling our home and being denied pistol purchase permits by the state police. Feel sorry for any law abiding gun owner living in Jersey.

    33. vincent on March 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM said:

      I am going to donate. Rogue cops and LEO thugs are a bigger threat than Al Qaeda or Hezbollah. Dano sounds like the type of trigger happy LEO that would pump 12 rounds into your golden retriever in a no-knock raid. But he sticks up for his fellow Gestapo agents!

    34. lablvr on March 7, 2013 at 8:17 PM said:

      Welcome to the new obama fascist regime………guilty until proven innocent.

    35. Becker on March 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM said:

      This is going to be a fight on both sides. We can’t keep quite and give in to the gun grabbers. Keep up the emails to representatives. Remind then that, unlike Obama, they have to run again. NRA keeps tabs on who really is pro-gun in each state. They look for the ones who voted against guns, even if it were 20 years ago or more. They don’t tell you how to vote, only how to vote if you want to keep your guns and rights. Best $35 you will spend a year. Also other benefits for belonging. Also, goggle Dillon Blue Press and get a free magazine from them. On their order form, they have a place to check to join the NRA and they pay $10 towards it, even if you don’t buy anything from them. Can’t beat that with a stick.

    36. He should sue for $ 5,000,000.00 and demand a televised apology from the city fathers and the police department.A man’s home is his castle and he is well within his rights to protect his privacy and personal property.There should be a formal review of that police precinct and their obvious lack of training and discipline IF THE FACTS PRESENTED HERE ARE SUBSTANTIATED.That landlord should have requested a search warrant on behalf of the resident before he unlocked the door.

    37. Ronald R. Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM said:

      More proof that many of our police are nothing more than criminals themselves and belong in Prison! Why aren’t they? One of these criminal New Jersey cops threaten to murder this man for no reason,How can that be legal? New jersey like many many of our cities and states have become like many third world countries where it’s citizens have no rights.These two cops need to go to prison and all the supervisors need to be fired!

    38. MarylandShooter on March 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM said:

      NJ is simply tyranny personified. The thugs wearing badges need their ass handed to them.

      Punks with badges and guns; the foot soldiers of the tyrants.

    39. THOMAS WALTERS on March 8, 2013 at 1:57 AM said:

      This is an ILLEGAL attack to the rights of a AMERICAN CITIZEN these officers and all who are responsible should be arrested &the released from their jobs an tried for these illegal action. BUT I do not see this happening they will sweep this under the carpet like they always do.

    40. ralph collier on March 8, 2013 at 1:26 AM said:

      Why doesn’t anyone read the following and challenge these authorities that are violating the US Constitution;

      http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/03/all-federal-gun-laws-are-unconstitutional/

    41. Kenneth Waggoner on March 8, 2013 at 2:27 AM said:

      They are very lucky, if it would have been my home they would have gotten shot, and I would have been well with in my rights.

    42. seanoamericano on March 8, 2013 at 4:10 AM said:

      I seriously doubt anybody would have felt bad if the swine would have been carried out on a slab except other crooks in blue. I was enjoying watching the terror grip the goons in LA. Their kind needs to be exposed so the public knows who they are and then refused service by the community. Let it be known that they are not welcome. Treat them with contempt and disgust like they do to us. Treat the honest and respectable officers right and build good relations and kick the others to the gutter.

    43. mikey d on March 8, 2013 at 6:52 AM said:

      If half of this is true,it makes me sick.I have two uncles that are cops and both love guns and have many.They have always want everyone to be able to protect themselves.

    44. Alex P on March 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM said:

      This happens to be where NJ Assemblyman Charles Mainor lives and used to work on the police force. He is the Chairman for NJ Health & Public Safety Committee who recently passed 24 anti-gun bills. At a recent public hearing to introduce the bills to the assembly, ‘Chairman’ Mainor was going to have the committee vote first and then hear public comments. He and his cronies have an agenda and have NO interest in what the public thinks. Knowing his background at the Jersey City police department and his strong anti-gun agenda, it makes this article smell worse than would seem on the surface. I’m not into conspiracy theories, but this wreaks!!

    45. So a man having legally owned weapons is arrested in his own home, without brandishing those weapons, was not read his Miranda rights. Even though his home was invaded, apparently not legally, he spent 30 days in jail having never committed a crime and needs money to pay for a lawyer? Did I get that right?

      I always wondered why New Jersey was treated like New York’s ugly read headed step sister. Turns out she is a stupid ignorant bitch too.
      Se Hablas Police state? Mucho Culo esta New Jersey politico’s e policias. Hay muchos pendejos fueras dentro de los políticos y la policía de Nueva Jersey. Ambos son estúpidos y carecen de sentido común. Please forgive the spelling. I am not Mexican.

      How many proper American politician’s will we see come to the rescue?

      If the people put up with this because they think they are powerless it will only continue and get worse. A badge does not give one power over common sense not does it replace morality.

      In South Carolina this man would have been well within his rights to shoot all three interlopers into his apartment.

      Perceived threat and Castle doctrine. Those dark suited men were carrying guns. With my eyesight they would have been cloaked figures committing crimes.
      Isn’t a home invasion no matter WHO does it a crime? It would have been better off for New Jersey if he had killed all three.
      I guess it would be appropriate to post a No Trespassing sign on everyone’s front door with a warning “All unauthorized violators will be shot.”

      Send a message New Jersey one that will not be too difficult to understand.

      Really is this necessary? Have we as American’s lost these many rights? Sure as sh@t seems so.

    46. Kenneth Waggoner on March 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM said:

      If a police officer enters a dwelling uninvited without a warrant or probable cause i.e. someone screaming, shots fired etc. is now guilty of B&E and by the Castle Law is now a target.

    47. Wm. R. Martin on March 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM said:

      The problem is the landlord opened the door, instead of telling the cops to go to hell, it was a civil matter. This guy is going to spend a lot of money and take years to get back on his feet, I sent what I could, hope others do this same, this could happen to anyone. Go to youtube and know your rights, NEVER let anyone in the door, PERIOD.

    48. MontieR on March 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM said:

      The problem is ALL governments are IGNORING both state and federal constitutions. These type of acts are the product of TYRANNY NOT a democratic REPUBLIC.

    49. Hal Howell on March 9, 2013 at 2:51 AM said:

      Yet another reason to never live in the East. Why anyone would want to continue to live in NJ, NY, etc. is beyond me. Their laws are stupid, their taxes are high just like their unemployment. Liberals can have it. Hopefully, he will get real justice under the law. As for the Gestapo, I hope they receive some strong reprimands, fines, etc.

    50. Mike Hargreaves on March 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM said:

      As the search was without a warrant, “Fruit of the poisoned tree”

      Anything found, is to be seen as not being there.

      False arrest, should be worth good money for the victim.

    51. As we al know draconian behavior like that was one of the key causes of the American Revolution. We need to stop this before it continues as a common practice.

      The officer involved is culpable if he wontonly violated NJ laws. Of course Govenor Crispy Kreme hasn’t decide what side he is on. NJ vote that slob out.

    52. I hope he can SUE the police dept.and the officers involved.
      From the info in this article,ALL of his civil rights were violated!!!!!!!!!!!!
      America,this is happening too often.Authority gone WILD!!!!!!!!!!!

    53. My brother was just arrested on 8-14 and charged with simply “possession of a firearm” in Atlantic City. His bail was set at $100,000(?!?!) to which we scraped up the money to get him released on bond. He was reported by a “friend” for having a gun in his suitcase. It is his legally owned handgun. He has a PA CCW and has no priors. This has absolutely been a wake up call to me on the tyrannical nature of government. How we are even discussing 3 years with no parole, not to mention possible 10 years is beyond me!!! They have violated his constitutional rights and they must be stopped!!!

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