By Cleve Bryan
SPRINGFIELD TWP, NJ (CBS)- Five vendors were arrested this weekend at the Columbus Market after undercover officers found hundreds of illegal weapons for sale.
Switchblades, spring assisted knives, throwing axes, double-edged daggers, brass knuckles and even a medievil-looking arm blade called a cestus were found. All of them are illegal in New Jersey and possessing them is a 4th-degree offense.
Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield says the county gang task force got the tip where the dangerous items were for sale.
“They’re showing up with all these weapons and universally they keep saying we got them at Columbus Market,” says Stanfield.
She believes there are more flea market-type shopping areas selling illegal blades and novelty weapons which may be legal in some states but not New Jersey.
She says some of the weapons have showed up in schools and parents are often unaware what is illegal.
“When parents are spoken to about it they say well they’re being sold so we assumed that they are legal and they’re not,” says Stanfield who was upset to know kids were coming up to buy weapons from the tables as officers were packing them up for evidence.
Stanfield says there may be future arrests and seizures at other markets.
Charged were Hassan M. Ghumman, 33 of New Castle DE; Paul E. Wilson, 59 of Abington, PA; David M. Harris, 30, of Pemberton; Lydia S. Porter, 59 of Bensalem, PA; and Randie A. Smith, 42 of Philadelphia, PA. Smith was additionally charged with possession of stun guns.
All five vendors were charged with possession and sale of illegal weapons, 4th degree offenses. All were later released on their own recognizance.