An ongoing KPD Vice Squad investigation into drug trafficking from a Highland Ave. residence has led to the arrest of three men — two alleged customers and the reputed dealer.
Kearny Police Chief John Dowie said detectives staked out the address for several hours the night of March 1 and, at about 10 p.m., detained the suspected buyers — Michael Sidlowski, 28, of Kearny, and Michael Costello, 24, of North Arlington — both of whom were arrested for alleged possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
At 10:45 p.m., the detectives went to the apartment and took into custody its occupant, Michael Ortiz, 28, who was charged with possession and distribution of cocaine.
Ortiz’ bail was set at $40,000 bail, with no 10% option. He was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.
Other recent reports from the Kearny Police blotter included the following:
As part of another drug distribution probe, the Vice Squad established surveillance of a Harding Terrace residence and, at about 9 p.m., observed the resident apparently engaging in sales of a CDS outside the home. A subsequent search of the apartment reportedly revealed two large bags containing more than 25 grams of suspected marijuana, a digital scale and $185 in cash. The occupant, 21-year-old Marie Silva, was charged with possession and distribution of pot and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 5:30 p.m., the Vice Squad spotted an individual described as “a known drug violator” operating an unregistered vehicle on Ivy St., Dowie said. The man double-parked the car and began walking north on Ivy. When he was detained and asked for his license and registration, the detectives reportedly saw a plastic bag containing a white substance as he removed his credentials from his pocket. Daniel Ortiz, 36, of Kearny was charged with possession of cocaine and paraphernalia, operating an unregistered vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS.
Police Officer Dean Gasser was on patrol at 11 p.m. when he saw a taxicab pass another car on the right on Belgrove Drive near Woodland Ave. Gasser stopped the cab and found that the operator, Jon Nardachone, 43, of East Rutherford, had a suspended license and an active warrant out of Linden, Dowie said. The cabby, charged with the license count and careless driving, was also wanted by both the Hudson County and Essex County Sheriff’s Offices, the chief said.
Officers Jay Ward and Tom Sumowski responded to Wal-Mart at midnight on the report of a shoplifter who had tried to leave the store with two 39-inch LED televisions, worth a total of $796. They arrested suspect Zakee Currence, 31, of Newark, who reportedly was also in possession of a small amount of suspected marijuana and had an active warrant from Gloucester Township for allegedly hindering apprehension.
• At 4:44 a.m., P.O. Ward was on patrol on Bergen Ave. when he found a black Acura stopped at a traffic light, with the driver asleep at the wheel. Ward knocked on the car window, but the dreaming driver did not respond.
“Fortunately,” Dowie said, “the moon roof was open,” so the cop reached in and shook the man until he woke up. At that point, the chief said, the car started rolling forward, with Ward running alongside, until it veered into the curb and came to a stop. After field sobriety tests and an Alcotest at headquarters, 34-year-old Frank Fernandes of Kearny was given summonses for DWI and reckless driving.
• At 7 p.m., Vice Squad detectives, after conducting surveillance of a double-parked motor vehicle on Chestnut St. near Bergen Ave., found on the passenger seat a bag containing suspected marijuana, numerous plastic bags and a digital scale, police said. The operator, Angel Solanoviera, 23, of Harrison, was also allegedly in possession of a switchblade knife. He was arrested on charges of possession of an unlawful weapon, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle–and double-parking. His bail was set at $15,000.
P.O. Tom Bannon, on patrol in South Kearny at 9:15 a.m., did a random computer check on a silver Acura with “excessively tinted windows” on Central Ave. and found that the registered owner had a suspended license. Stopping the car, he also found that the driver was the registered owner and was wanted on two warrants out of Irvington and one each from Fanwood, Manasquan and Brielle, police said. Taken into custody was 26-year-old Tayllor Cooper of Rahway.
• P.O. Pat Sawyer, issuing a parking ticket at Kearny Ave. and Van Cortland Place at 10 a.m., noticed there were already several other tickets inside the 2007 Toyota. A computer check revealed that the registered owner was suspended. When the driver returned and started heading north on Kearny Ave., the officer stopped the car and arrested Steven Rodriguez, 26, of Kearny, for the license violation and on an open warrant from Newark.
Shortly after midnight, P.O. Mike Santucci spotted 27-year-old Sidnei Antunes, who reportedly is homeless, staggering along Maple St. After Santucci got the man out of the road, sat him on the curb and summoned medical aid, Antunes “seized the opportunity to assault” the cop and attempted to flee, Dowie said. After a struggle, he was cuffed and transported to headquarters, where he reportedly proceeded to: slam his head against the wall; punch the cell walls; attempt to tie his T-shirt around his neck; cover the cell cameras with toilet paper, and then crawl under his bunk, refuse to come out and refuse to let EMS treat him. Antunes was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
• At 7:30 p.m., P.O. Giovanni Rodriguez and Sgt. Anthony Limite answered a complaint from a Bergen Ave. resident, who reported that a young couple was sitting on her porch and refused her request to leave. The male reportedly had responded with an obscenity, then took a stick and broke her window. The officers encountered a 17-year-old Kearny male with blood on his hands and smelling of alcohol, Dowie said. Taken to headquarters, the teen reportedly “continued his disruptive behavior” and to resist officers. The juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and underage possession of alcohol and was released to the custody of his father.
• Vice detectives, working an unrelated case on Dukes St. at 10:30 p.m., noticed three males who appeared to be sharing a marijuana cigar. A search of the trio reportedly revealed seven additional bags of suspected pot. Issued summonses for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and being under the influence of a CDS were Juliano Davila, 19, of East Newark, and two 17-year-old juveniles, one from East Newark and one from Harrison.
— Karen Zautyk