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No joke! Standup comic faces possible prison time for movie shoot

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NEWARK, N.J. -- One thing about Carlo Bellario, he’s got some guts.

We told you about his plight a couple of months ago. Carlo is standup comic with a criminal past. He grew up around crime on the streets of Newark when he was Carlo Goias, his real name. And Carlo did some time over the years.

He’s straightforward about it and seems to have succeeded in turning his life around.

Back in November he agreed to shoot a movie role for no pay. He was trying to pad his resume playing a crime bodyguard character. His role called for him to be driven through some streets in Woodbridge, waving a gun around.

One big problem. The producers never told the police what they were going to do and apparently no one had a permit for the pellet gun they were using. So it’s no surprise that neighbors called 911 when they saw a guy waving a pistol in a car. Police arrived and busted Carlo for weapons possession.

New Jersey has tough gun laws. Even a pellet gun is considered a gun and needs a permit. Carlo’s girlfriend finally raised his bail after the producers didn’t. Carlo contacted us for help and we did the story because the situation seemed a little wacky to us. A guy is given a prop gun in a movie and now faces possible hard time? He had no intent to commit any crime.

Well, Carlos had a date in court on March 22. He was offered a deal. Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet said Carlo could cop a plea and do three years. He’d likely be out in a lot less.

Carlo said nothing. He’ll go to trial.

Judge Alberto Rivas made sure Carlo understood the situation.

“Mr. Goias this is not your first rodeo. So you know what’s at stake here. You’re going for the long haul. You lose, you may end up in state prison for an extended period of time. Especially if you have a record.”

But Carlo is ready to take his chances with a jury. He can’t believe this is happening, as he told us after court.

“ I don’t think it’s fair. I understand the legal systems got to work a certain way. I have priors. I didn’t lie about it..I never claimed I was a boy scout. At that time (of the movie shoot) I was doing something constructive…And it’s just not right.”

Carlo’s attorney, Jef Henninger, put it this way, “It’s a big gamble here at this point, but he’s prepared to take the case to a jury and explain to the jury that he did not know that this was a gun that would be illegal.”

There is likely to be more legal maneuvering ahead. We’ll keep you posted. By the way, Carlo’s lawyer told us that if this does in fact wind up going to trial, the trial could be up to a year away.