Three people were arrested on Tuesday morning with several handguns and rifles, after police stopped their van near the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey, officials said.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson with the Port Authority Police Department wouldn’t speak on the arrests. However, unnamed police officials told NBC New York, ABC7, and CBS New York that three arrests were made. The New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Chief tweeted photos of the weapons used, describing the arrests were an “outstanding job” done by Port Authority police, adding that his department is “monitoring the events unfolding.”
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) June 21, 2016
— Marc Santia (@MarcSantia4NY) June 21, 2016
Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC that the suspects claimed they’re “gun enthusiasts” with no ties to terrorism.
They had loaded guns, knives, and ballistic vests on hand. In all, five pistols and two rifles were found, along with four knives, 10 loaded clips of ammunition, and a military-style helmet, ABC7 reported. Night-vision goggles were also recovered.
The three—two men in their 50s and a woman in her 20s—were stopped by police for driving with a cracked windshield. They were detained near the tunnel at 7:40 a.m., the reports said.
Police said the suspects were traveling into New York from Pennsylvania. Authorities suspect the three were in possession of the guns as part of criminal activity, likely related to heroin, ABC7 reported. Drugs were also recovered from the scene, and authorities believe they are heroin users.
The suspects told police they “are self-styled vigilantes” on the way to Queens to rescue a woman being held by drug dealers, the ABC report said.
The Holland Tunnel travels under the Hudson River and connects Jersey City, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York. It’s considered one of the main arteries into New York City.