Three men have been charged in a drug-related robbery plot and shooting that left two others wounded at a Bergenfield home Sunday morning, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced in a statement.
Zakeer Roberts, 24, of East Orange, and Mario Ferreira, were armed when they went to the Westside Avenue home in a scheme to rob a resident, 21-year-old Gilbert Mercado, of money and drugs, according to preliminary information released by the prosecutor’s office Monday. Gunfire erupted and Mercado was shot several times along with another resident, identified by authorities as John Newcomb, 30.
An Englewood man, Christian Nova, is accused of arranging the robbery and told Ferreira that Mercado was known to have sold drugs and “would have both money and narcotics in his possession,” according to the prosecutor’s statement. Nova and Mercado allegedly had “some past dealings.”
Mercado remained hospitalized Sunday in serious condition. Newcomb was hit in the lower torso and listed in fair condition. Neither of the men knew their assailants, the prosecutor’s office said.
“Both Roberts and Ferreira were armed during the robbery and at this time the investigation has yet to clarify which defendant discharged their weapon relative to the victims,” the statement said. “Neither weapon has been recovered at this time.”
Roberts and Ferreira were in custody on charges including two counts of attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Authorities said the pair were awaiting transfer to the Bergen County Jail after being arrested by East Orange police and Newark’s SWAT team.
Ferreira’s age and hometown were not immediately available.
Nova, 21, was arrested late Sunday on charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and hindering apprehension. He was being held at the Bergen County Jail on $250,000 bail, records show.
Authorities said the investigation was ongoing and more details were expected to be released in the coming days.