Queens, NY – A high-ranking member of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s staff was arrested with a handgun on Saturday, and arraigned on Sunday in the criminal court where her mother is a judge.
Reagan Stevens, 42, was in a parked Infiniti with 24-year-old Montel Hughes and 25-year-old Caesar Forbes, when police encountered them after responding to an alert for shots fired in the area, the New York Daily News reported.
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun in the glove compartment of the vehicle the three were in, but nobody would claim ownership of it. So police arrested everybody.
The incident began at about 9:42 pm on April 7 when ShotSpotter, a citywide system of highly tuned microphones designed to detect gunfire and pinpoint its location, alerted police about a burst of five gunshots fired in Jamaica, Queens, the New York Post reported.
When officers arrived in the area, they found a 2002 dark red Infiniti occupied by a deputy director in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and two young men.
Police found a loaded 9 mm handgun which had had its serial number removed in the vehicle’s glove box. The eight-round magazine in the gun held only three bullets, and police found an empty shell casing on the floor of the car near Stevens’ feet, the New York Post reported.
The ShotSpotter had directed police to 174th Street and 109th Avenue, and sources told the New York Post that officers were able to locate private surveillance video footage that showed five shots being fired from the window of the Infiniti.
Stevens, Hughes and Forbes were arrested and charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Hughes and Forbes were also charged with for illegal knives they were both carrying at the time of their arrests.
All three were arraigned on Sunday in Queens Criminal Court where Stevens’ mother, Deborah Stevens Modica, has been a judge since 1997, the New York Post reported. Salvatore Modica, Stevens’ stepfather, is an acting Queens Supreme Court justice.
Office of Criminal Justice Spokesman Patrick Gallahue said Stevens was immediately suspended without pay from her $90,000-a-year city job.
“We take these allegations very seriously,” Gallahue said.