The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office says a man from Bridgeton has been convicted for a drive-by shooting in the city last year.

Following a six-day trial, 26-year-old Abelardo Garcia-Cruz was found guilty of second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree possession of large capacity magazine, and third-degree possession of a weapon without a serial number.

Garcia-Cruz was acquitted of first-degree attempted murder and related charges.

Authorities say on the morning of August 15, 2021, Bridgeton police officers were called to a home for a report of a shooting.

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The victim disclosed that he was sitting in his truck around 5 AM waiting for his vehicle to warm up on his way to work. Around that time, a black Ford Expedition approached near the victim’s residence and fired a shot at the victim’s vehicle from the driver’s seat. The victim sustained a graze wound to his right cheek as the bullet passed through the headrest and cracked the windshield.

Officers were able to recover a casing and a projectile from the headrest.

Officials were able to trace the vehicle back to a home on Giles Street and surveillance, "revealed that the driver of the Expedition on August 15, 2021 was Abelardo Garcia-Cruz. The vehicle’s passenger was an unknown and unidentified male."

Officers executed a search warrant at that home on Giles St. and recovered a 9mm Polymer 80 Luger pistol without a serial number from Garcia-Cruz’s closet, according to the prosecutor's office.

The weapon was fitted with a large-capacity magazine. The New Jersey State Police Ballistics Unit was able to confirm that the weapon matched the bullet projectile and casing from the scene.

Garcia-Cruz is facing up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced on January 13th.

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