MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, Warren County Prosecutor James L. Pfeiffer, and Denville Chief of Police Frank Perna confirmed the arrest of Joseph Palumbo Jr., 33, of Columbia on charges related to the unlawful manufacturing and sales of firearms without serial numbers, more commonly known as ghost guns, in Morris and Warren Counties.
Palumbo Jr. is alleged to have carried out the illegal manufacture and sale of ghost guns between December 2023 and February 2024. Specifically, he is alleged to have sold these ghost guns, the majority of which are alleged to be assault firearms, during this timeframe in Morris and Warren County. The sales involved one homemade handgun without a serial number, five homemade AR platformed assault firearms without serial numbers, and two large-capacity magazines. Palumbo Jr. was taken into custody following a motor vehicle stop on February 8.
During the subsequent execution of a search warrant on Palumbo Jr.’s Columbia residence, an alleged ghost gun manufacturing facility was located in the basement. Searches were also conducted at the defendant’s barbershop in Netcong and his vehicle. As a result of these searches, two additional homemade AR platformed assault firearms without serial numbers, approximately 36 additional firearms consisting of assault firearms and handguns, numerous firearms components used to manufacture firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and approximately three firearm silencers were seized.
Palumbo Jr. has been charged with:
• Four counts of Certain Persons Not to Possess a Firearm, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-7(b) (1), a crime of second degree.
• Seven counts of Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-5(f), a crime of the second degree.
• Eight counts of Transporting a Manufactured Firearm Without a Serial Number in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-9(n), a crime of the second degree.
• One count of Conspiracy to Manufacture and Transport Firearms Without Serial Numbers, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S. 2C:39-9(n), a crime of the second degree.
• One count of Purchasing Firearm Parts to Manufacture a Firearm Without a Permit, violating N.J.S. 2C:39-9(k), a crime of the second degree.
• One count of Child Endangerment, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:24-4(a)(2), a crime of the second degree.
• Eight counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Without a Serial Number, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-3(n), a crime of the third degree.
• One count of Unlawful Possession of a large-capacity ammunition Magazine, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-3(j), a crime of the fourth degree.
• One count of Manufacture, Transport, and Disposition of Large Capacity Magazines, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-9(h), a crime of the fourth degree.
• One count of Manufacture, Transport, and Disposition of Firearm Silencers, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-9(c), a crime of the fourth degree.
As a result of this investigation, Monica D. Scaglione, 30, of Columbia, was also charged with one count of Child Neglect in violation of N.J.S. 9:6-3, a crime of the fourth degree after it was determined that minor children reside in Palumbo Jr. and Scaglione’s shared home, where an abundance of unsecured firearms and ammunition were located and seized.
Under the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Palumbo Jr. has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings. Scaglione was charged on a summons complaint, processed, and released pending a court appearance.
Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank the following agencies for their hard work and dedication during this investigation: The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, consisting of the Roxbury Township Police Department, the Town of Boonton Police Department, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Denville Police Department, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Taskforce, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the NJ Attorney General’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) and its taskforce officers, which include Immigration and Customs Enforcement specifically, the office of ERO under the supervision of Field Office Director John Tsoukaris, and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP).
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, this Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.