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Highway homicide arrests

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Following a month-long investigation, authorities have arrested a Newark couple in the June 12 slaying of a Hackensack livery-cab driver who apparently had been targeted after an argument at a Belleville nightclub.

The victim, Jeff Mansilla, 39, was shot as he was driving on Interstate 80 in Saddle Brook. Authorities say he had been followed from the Belleville Ave. gentlemen’s club, called Wet, by suspects Mujahideen Abdullah and Jomaris Gonzalez.

Abdullah, 25, and Gonzalez, 28, were arrested Friday morning after detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant at their residence.

Both suspects were transported to the Bergen County Jail. Abdullah is being held on $2 million full cash bail; Gonzalez, on $250,000 full cash bail.

According to the State Police, Mansilla had become involved in a dispute with the pair while at the club June 12. At approximately 2 a.m., the livery driver left the premises with two passengers, a man and a woman, in his GMC Yukon.

Abdullah and Gonzalez proceeded to enter their own vehicle, a silver Infiniti, and followed the Yukon, police said.

At approximately 2:10 a.m., while traveling east on Rt. 80, the Infiniti pulled up alongside the Yukon and Abdullah fired several shots from a semi-automatic through the open passenger-side window, striking Mansilla in the hip, police said.

Mansilla was able to get his vehicle off the highway, and his male passenger then took the wheel. The man drove the victim to Hackensack University Hospital, where Mansilla was later pronounced dead.

Abdullah has been charged with murder, weapons possession, hindering apprehension, and distribution of controlled dangerous substances.

Gonzalez has been charged with hindering apprehension and distribution of CDS.

The arrests were the culmination of an investigation involving the State Police, the Belleville Police Department and the Bergen and Essex County Prosecutors’ Offices.

– Karen Zautyk 

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