Authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating a reputed Newark gang member sought for his alleged role in a Bergenfield home invasion and shooting that left two men wounded last weekend.
Hassan “Smoke” Sly, 24, is wanted on charges including two counts of attempted murder, armed burglary and weapons offenses, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. Sly wasn’t home Thursday when Bergen County investigators and Newark SWAT officers raided his house, but a search turned up a TEC-9 assault weapon, heroin and equipment used for packaging the drug.
“It is not believed that the TEC-9 was used in the shootings. The weapon(s) used in the shooting have yet to be recovered,” the prosecutor said in a statement Friday.
Two other alleged assailants - Zakeer Roberts, 24, of East Orange and Mario Ferreira, 22, of Succasunna - were captured a day after the Sunday morning shooting on Westside Avenue. An Englewood man, 21-year-old Christian Nova, was accused of arranging what prosecutors said was an attempt to rob one of the residents of drugs and money.
Nova told Ferreira that one of the shooting victims, 21-year-old Gilbert Mercado, had drugs and money at his Westside Avenue home, Molinelli said after his arrest. The two apparently had “some past dealings” and Mercado was known to sell drugs.
Sly was armed along with Ferreira and Roberts during the robbery, Molinelli said, citing the ongoing investigation.
Bergenfield police found Mercado and another resident, John Newcomb, 30, shot after responding to 911 calls shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the prosecutor.
Mercado was shot multiple times and initially in serious condition, but Molinelli said Friday he was expected to survive. Newcomb was hit once in the lower torso and last listed in fair condition.
Authorities have not said which of the three alleged gunmen shot the two men.
Sly should be considered armed and dangerous, Molinelli said. He is believed to be a members of the Crips street gang and has associates in East Orange, Irvington and Newark.
Anyone with information was asked to the prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit at 201-226-5651 or local police.Nova remained at the Bergen County Jail Friday on $250,000 bail, according to sheriff’s records. Ferreira and Roberts were also at the county lockup, each held on $1 million bail.