Residents allowed home after Yonkers arms search
No weapons or explosives were found in a van owned by a man whose weapons cache in another Yonkers location launched a multiagency investigation last week, law enforcement sources told News12 on Sunday.
Residents of eight multifamily buildings near a parking lot on Van Cortlandt Park Avenue, where the van was parked, were evacuated by police. They were allowed to return to their homes Saturday night about four hours later once police determined that the vehicle contained no explosives, News12 reported.
Bomb-sniffing dogs had indicated a possible "explosive odor" from the van, which was towed away by law enforcement agencies.
The van, which has been parked on Van Cortlandt Park Avenue near Spruce and Elms streets for "months," belongs to Antonio Olmeda, a Yonkers man who allegedly owned a large cache of weapons discovered in the basement of a six-family Alder Street home on Wednesday, police confirmed.
A bomb squad team from Westchester County was called in to search the van, police said.
Yonkers police were joined by agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at the scene.
Police confirmed the investigation was related to the discovery of a cache of weapons -- including handguns, rifles and 5,000 rounds of ammunition -- in the basement of a six-family Alder Street home on Wednesday night.
The law enforcement source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said investigators were pursuing other leads, including a search of another location Sunday, a wooded area off the Major Deegan Expressway near 233rd Street in the Bronx, according to News12. There was no indication that investigators uncovered evidence at that location.
Olmeda, who has listed addresses in Yonkers and New York City, has been jailed at Rikers Island awaiting trial on attempted murder charges from a 2010 incident. He is accused of shooting at two NYPD beat officers in Queens.
Olmeda, 53, rented storage space in the basement of 22 Alder St. in Yonkers in 2010, where he stored his weapons and ammunition, police said. The stash included New York Police Department identification cards and badges as well as military-grade smoke canisters, according to cops.
The building's landlord waited months after Olmeda stopped paying rent before he opened up a storage locker on Wednesday and found the cache. He called police, who cleared some 15 families from 22 Alder St. and two adjacent buildings and set up a 300-foot perimeter as officers removed the weapons and ammo.
Police did not describe the make and model of the vehicle they were looking at Saturday, and they kept onlookers back by setting up a perimeter.
Yonkers police did not initially file charges against Olmeda, and Olmeda's attorney, Garnett Sullivan, said he did not have information about the Yonkers incident or the storage locker.