'Operation Zombie': Pa, NJ police dismantle gun ring; 5 suspects charged

From left to right: Matthew Zoba, Michael Snyder, Robert Crosley, Victoria Zipf and Yuri Lyubinskiy

Officials said they dismantled a Philadelphia-based gun ring that peddled weapons and drugs in Camden.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Monday announced officers recovered 36 guns and 20 ounces of methamphetamine between March 2019 and January as part of an initiative named “Operation Zombie.”

A semiautomatic rifle allegedly sold by the ring was used in the October 2019 slaying of Nikolette Rivera, 2, in Kensington, authorities said.

“Four out of five crime guns in New Jersey originate in states with weaker gun laws, with the largest number coming from Pennsylvania, and we’re going to keep working together to arrest the traffickers who put our residents and our law enforcement officers at risk,” Grewal said.


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Officials say a gun used in the shooting death of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera has been recovered.

The attorney generals announced the collaboration between the two states would continue as law enforcement works to get firearms out of the hands of criminals.

“Law enforcement collaboration was the key to this successful operation,” said Shapiro. ”Thanks to our new partnership, we will more effectively shut down crime gun pipelines and get firearms out of the hands of criminals who want to do harm.”

Those charged in the bust include 32-year-old Robert Crosley III, aka “Zombie,” who allegedly managed the gun trafficking ring along with 38-year-old Matthew Zoba. Zoba's girlfriend, 33-year-old Victoria Zipf, allegedly acted as a straw purchaser and assisted in gun and drug sales. All three were arrested.

Those charged by complaint-warrant and are pending arrest include 44-year-old Michael Snyder and 39-year-old Yuri Lyubinskiy.

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