Today Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert L. Laurino announced the arrest of Preye L. Roberts, age 24, of Nutley, New Jersey in connection with the alleged shooting of Fairfield Police Officer Gerald Veneziano on January 30, 2010 in Fairfield. Preye Roberts was charged with attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. If convicted of all charges defendant faces thirty years in prison.
Acting Prosecutor Laurino praised the work of the multi-agency task force for their dedication and for being relentless in the days and weeks following this shooting. Several hundred leads were investigated however the break in the case came when the task force was notified by Union County law enforcement authorities that a weapon and ballistics were seized from Roberts during a February 13th incident in Union Township.
Investigators learned that Roberts rented a black Dodge Caliber with a “W” in the license plate. Officer Veneziano reported this earlier in the investigation. Roberts was in possession of this vehicle on January 30th. The vehicle was impounded by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
On February 13, 2010 at 1:41am, Roberts was arrested by Union Township Police on Route 22 for allegedly firing a weapon. He was in possession of 9mm ammunition. The ammunition was entered into the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) which assists law enforcement in comparing ballistic and weapons evidence.
Officer Veneziano made an identification of the person who shot him on January 30th. Roberts is still in custody and being held on $100,000.00 bail set at the Union County jail from the February 13th incident.
Arrest warrants in the Fairfield shooting were issued for Roberts. Bail was set at $500,000 by the Honorable Peter Vasquez, JSC.
Acting Prosecutor Laurino thanks members of the multi-agency task force and especially the NJ State Police, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Fairfield Police Department, Union Township Police Department and the Union County Police Department’s ballistics unit for bringing closure to this eight week investigation.
These charges are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.