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Handgun, axes, NYPD paraphernalia and more found in man's vehicle in Queens. Why police pulled him over in the first place.

License plate cover leads NYPD to discover arsenal of weapons in vehicle
License plate cover leads NYPD to discover arsenal of weapons in vehicle 01:50

NEW YORK -- A man in Queens was caught with an arsenal of weapons and NYPD paraphernalia in his vehicle early Wednesday morning.

Police say he was initially pulled over for an obstructed license plate.

Gun, axes and more found in Queens man's vehicle

Police say one sergeant and three police officers were patrolling Queens in an unmarked car when they spotted a black Ford Explorer with a blacked-out license plate at 86th Street and Ditmars Boulevard around 1:30 a.m.

The officers stopped the vehicle, which led to them discovering an arsenal of weapons and other items inside the vehicle, including:

  • One handgun,
  • Nine loaded magazines,
  • Two axes, 
  • Heavy body armor, 
  • Handcuffs, 
  • NYPD uniform items, 
  • A stun gun, 
  • Multiple knives, 
  • A weighted whip, 
  • An expandable baton,
  • A Guy Fawkes mask,
  • And an NYC Transit vest.

"Arrests of this magnitude, the amount of ammunition, NYPD paraphernalia in the car, was significant," NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said.

Police officials say they also found writing in the vehicle, but they did not offer details.

"There were some things written, but it, right now, is under active investigation, so we're not at liberty to discuss that," Maddrey said.

The driver, identified as 27-year-old Judd Sanson, has been arrested. He has been charged with nine counts of criminal possession of a weapon, four counts of unlawful possession and one charge for the covered plate.

The suspect's only prior arrest was for a graffiti charge.

It is unclear at this time where he was coming from or heading to.

The investigation is ongoing.

Police say the suspect was pulled over one block away from where two NYPD officers were shot on June 3.  

NYPD cracking down on obstructed license plates

"Obstructed license plate. Ghost car. Ask yourself, why did he have his license plate covered for? What was his intent to do with all of these items inside of this vehicle?" NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry said.

Police are aggressively cracking down on illegal and obstructed license plates and covers, saying they are used in violent crimes.

"We are seeing an uptick in individuals that are committing shootings, robberies, burglaries, home invasions, their method of transportation as a vehicle, sometimes stolen vehicle. And I will say about 80 percent of the times, they have a license plate cover," Daughtry said.

So far this year, police have seized 683 vehicles with obstructed license plates, also known as ghost cars. In addition, so far this year, nearly 2,900 illegal paper license plates were taken off streets citywide.

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