Top de Blasio Aide Arrested for Illegal Weapons Possession

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio / Getty
April 9, 2018

A high-level aide to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) was arrested Saturday night after police found her in a car with a loaded gun near the scene of a shooting.

Reagan Stevens, a deputy director in the mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and two men were arrested for illegal weapons possession, the New York Post reported.

Police said they found the trio sitting in a double-parked car near the scene of a Saturday night shooting in Queens. Law enforcement sources told the Post that a loaded, 9mm semi-automatic pistol with its serial number defaced was hidden in the 2002 dark red Infiniti SUV's glovebox, and that there was a spent shell casing on the floor near Stevens' feet in the backseat. None of the three individuals admitted to owning the weapon, so all three were handed gun charges.

Officers were responding to the New York Police Department's "ShotSpotter" bullet-detection system, which detected five gunshots at a street corner in Queens, when police say they found the vehicle parked nearby.

"Private surveillance video captured the muzzle flashes of five shots fired from the Infiniti, sources said," according to the Post.

Police said the pistol they seized from the car holds an eight-round clip but only had three rounds remaining.

Stevens, 42, and the two men in the car—driver Caesar Forbes, 25, and front-seat passenger Montel Hughes, 24, who cops say also had knives on them—were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. One count is for the gun being loaded, the other for its illegally obscured serial number.

Stevens is the deputy director of Youth and Strategic Initiatives in de Blasio's Office of Criminal Justice. Her main role is to implement a law from last year that raises the age at which kids can be prosecuted as adults for non-violent crimes from 16 to 18.

Stevens has been suspended without pay.

"We take these allegations very seriously," said Office of Criminal Justice spokesman Patrick Gallahue.

De Blasio has been a vocal advocate for stricter gun-control laws, directing his administration to implement tighter gun restrictions.