NJ man sentenced to 18 years in state prison for gun charges
LINDEN — A Linden man who was arrested on gun charges during a citywide curfew due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison, authorities said Monday.
Malik Welch, 33, was sentenced Friday in connection with an incident that took place on Oct. 30, 2012. According to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, Welch was seen walking along Bower street with an open can of beer as Linden police officers were enforcing the post-Sandy curfew.
Suarez said as the officers approached Welch, they identified themselves s law enforcement. Authorities say when Welch saw police, he dropped the can of beer he was holding and raun up the driveway of a nearby home "ignoring the officers’ orders to stop."
Police caught up with Welch in the backyard of the home and following a struggle, placed him under arrest, Suarez said. During the investigation, police found a loaded handgun magazine on the ground. They then discovered a fully-loaded 9MM Ruger handgun in the pocket of Welch's jacket.
A trial took place over the course of three days in July 2015, after which a Union County jury found Welch guilty of second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun and fourth-degree resisting arrest. A jury also found him guilty of a second degree charge of certain persons not to have weapons, the prosecutor's office said.
According to the assistant prosecutor, Welch was sentenced to 10 years in state prison on the gun possession charge as well as eight years on the certain persons charge. Those sentences are to be served consecutively, authorities said. He was also sentenced to 18 months on the charge of resisting arrest. Authorities say Welch must serve at least 10 years of the 18-year combined sentence before he will be eligible for parole.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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