NEW BRUNSWICK – A jury convicted a 22-year-old North Brunswick man of taking part in a drive-by shooting that wounded an innocent bystander, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced yesterday.
Joshua Burgos, 22, was found guilty of the attempted murder of his intended victim, who was not injured, as well as conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit an aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Burgos was found not guilty of an additional count of the attempted murder of the bystander, who was not the target of the drive-by shooting in Perth Amboy on Dec. 23, 2007.
Burgos faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 5 by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz at the Middlesex County Courthouse.
A jury deliberated about two hours over two days before reaching its verdict, following a trial that began Aug. 4.
During the trial, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Weiss contended that Burgos rounded up a group of men to assist in the drive-by shooting, which occurred hours after the defendant became involved in a fistfight with Roberto Rodriguez, 21, of Carteret.
The two men were at a party at the Perth Amboy home of the defendant’s cousin, Angel Valentin, 20, when the fight began.
An investigation by Perth Amboy Detective Mabner Terron and members of the Middlesex County Gangs, Guns and Drugs Task Force determined that Burgos, Valentin and six other co-defendants got into three cars and drove to the home of Nicholas Dennis, 34, in Perth Amboy.
During the trial, Weiss, who is also assigned to the task force, presented testimony and evidence showing Dennis, who is the uncle of Rodriguez, was standing outside his home with Rodriguez at 4:06 a.m. when two shots were fired from a black BMW.
Dennis was struck in the abdomen and left leg. He was rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was treated and since has recovered from the gunshot wounds.
While the actual shooter has never been identified, police arrested and charged eight suspects, including Burgos.
All of his co-defendants later pleaded guilty to a charge of armed rioting and have been sentenced.
Among them was Burgos’s cousin, Valentin, who was sentenced to serve three years in a New Jersey state prison.
Also, Clifford Russell VanDyke, 22 of Middlesex Borough; Luis Otero, 20 of Perth Amboy, and Calvin Savage, 21 of Dunellen, were each sentenced to serve five-year prison terms.
In addition, Andrew Hoffman, 21 of Piscataway, and Kevin Oliveras, 20 of the Parlin section of Sayreville, were each placed on probation for five years, while Jorge Vasquez, 21 was placed on probation for four years.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!