If you are going to block traffic by stopping your car on a relatively narrow street made even narrower by snowbanks along the curbs, make sure that: 1) there are no drugs in the vehicle; 2) the passengers are not actively engaging in the consumption of drugs; and 3) nobody has a warrant.
Failure to heed this advice reportedly led to the recent arrest of four men on a variety of charges.
Police Chief John Dowie said members of the KPD Vice Squad, conducting an unrelated narcotics investigation, were on Chestnut St. between Woodland and Johnston Aves. at 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, when they came upon a 2011 Infiniti stopped in the street and blocking traffic.
The front-seat passenger, identified later as Jamal Wright, 27, of East Orange, was seen puffing on a small cigar, which he then passed to back-seat passenger Michael Cureton, 25, of Newark, Dowie said.
As the detectives approached the vehicle, Cureton dropped the cigar out the window, “practically at their feet,” the chief noted. In addition, they reportedly detected the strong odor of marijuana.
All four occupants were ordered out of the car, inside of which the officers reportedly observed on the rear seat two plastic bags containing suspected marijuana and, protruding from the rear-seat armrest, a third plastic bag. Police said that one held 51 vials of crack cocaine.
When the dust (snow?) settled, Wright and Cureton were both charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Police said both also were wanted by Newark: Wright had one $400 warrant; Cureton, two warrants, $200 and $300. A third passenger, Carnell Wright, 25, of Newark, had a $500 warrant from that city, police said.
The bulk of the charges were filed against the Infiniti’s driver, Nigel Gyamfi, 21, of Newark. These included possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute in a school zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while suspended. Also: obstructing traffic.
He apparently did not have a warrant.
The car was impounded.
– Karen Zautyk