Chris Christie Pardons Marine Arrested for Lawfully Purchased Handgun

On September 6, U.S. Marine Joshua Velez visited his brother in New Bergen, New Jersey, and was arrested for possession of a lawfully purchased 9mm handgun and hollow-point bullets.

Velez lives in Davers, Massachusetts, and is a Marine recruiter in Boston, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Velez has a license to carry his handgun in Massachusetts.

On September 6, Velez was stopped by police for failure to use a turn signal. During the traffic stop, the officer discovered Velez’s unloaded Ruger 9mm handgun, which was locked in the glove compartment of Velez’s truck and transported into New Jersey unintentionally. Velez was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of hollow-point bullets in the state of New Jersey.

On December 23, Governor Chris Christie issued a pardon on behalf of Velez, which said in part:

WHEREAS, Joshua Velez has made a written application to the Governor for a pardon for the aforesaid offenses, and the State Parole Board, upon request of the Governor, in accordance with the law, has made an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding said application for a Pardon;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and the statutes of this State, do hereby grant Joshua Velez a full and free Pardon for all criminal charges arising from the arrest occurring September 6, 2015, to include the aforesaid crimes, and this Order is applicable solely to said criminal charges and to no other.

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