Hospital employee arrested after 39 guns, ammo found in office closet
The marketing director of a New Jersey hospital was arrested Sunday after authorities found a large cache of firearms and ammunition inside an office closet at the the medical facility, police said. Reuven Alonalayoff, 46, has been indicted for his suspected connection to the stockpile of weapons at Hudson Regional Hospital, the Secaucus Police Department said in a news release Monday.
Alonalayoff, of Elmwood Park, faces multiple charges, including unlawful possession of an assault firearm and two counts of possession of a high-capacity magazine. In New Jersey, those charges carry potential maximum sentences of roughly five to 10 years in state prison when taken together, along with additional fines.
Secaucus police officers arrested Alonalayoff at Newark Liberty International Airport over the weekend, with help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, according to police. His arrest came several weeks after local law enforcement in Secaucus initially discovered the weapons at Hudson Regional Hospital.
Police were dispatched to the medical center on the afternoon of July 18 in response to a reported bomb threat, the department said. Officers searched the hospital using trained bomb dogs from the nearby Bayonne Police Department and Hudson County Sheriff, ultimately discovering the cache of weapons inside “an unlocked closet within an office” while conducting their sweep.
Although Secaucus police said the original call turned out to be “a hoax,” the cache of rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition was deemed an obvious public safety hazard.
“The unsecured storage of a large cache of weaponry, especially in this location, certainly creates a risk to public safety,” said Secaucus police chief Dennis Miller. “I commend the efforts and professionalism of all the police personnel involved in this investigation and am thankful this situation was resolved without anyone being harmed.”
Police said they recovered 11 handguns, 27 rifles or shotguns, and a .45 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine, which is an assault rifle, inside the hospital closet. Officers also found another high-capacity handgun magazine with 14 rounds.
A 2019 law changed the number of bullets a high-capacity magazine can legally hold in New Jersey from 15 to 10 rounds.