Kearny cops bust Nutley drug suspect

By Karen Zautyk | Senior Correspondent


Photo by Karen Zautyk

A 55-year-old man, who police said has had eight felony convictions, was arrested April 20 on drug and weapons charges following a street stop in Kearny and a subsequent search of his Nutley home, KPD Police Chief John Dowie reported.

The suspect, who reportedly had been the focus of an investigation since the beginning of the month, was initially taken into custody on Elm St. at 5:20 p.m. after members of the Vice Squad confronted him and found him to be in possession of prescription painkillers and what was suspected to be cocaine, Dowie said. (The cocaine was packaged in plastic bags stamped with a blue bunnies – just in time for Easter.) He also was carrying $3,780 in cash.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Kearny police executed a search warrant for his residence on Essex St. in Nutley as the Nutley PD secured the location.

Assisted by Kearny Officers Mike Andrews and Neil Nelson, the Vice Squad detectives reportedly found the following:

In the bedroom, next to the bed:

  • 1 stun gun
  • A digital scale
  • A pistol holster
  • An umbrella with a dagger hidden in the handle

In the bedroom closet:

  • $2,700 in cash
  • In the kitchen:

3 ziplock bags with cocaine

  • 153 Endocet pills
  • 167 Oxycontin pills
  • Plus seven separate bags each containing 10 Endocet tablets
  • Also reportedly removed from the house were:
  • A spoon with cocaine residue
  • Pepper spray containing UV dye
  • Six .38 caliber hollow-point bullets
  • Three gun cases
  • 11 large bags containing smaller packaging material
  • And a container of white powder with what was thought to be a cutting agent

The suspect was charged in Kearny with possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute within a school zone, possession of a CDS and possession of a prescription-legend drug.

Additionally, Dowie said, the man was charged in Nutley with drug possession, possession in the proximity of a public park (Booth Park), possession of Oxycontin with intent to distribute, possession of a stun gun, possession of a stun gun while engaged in CDS activities and possession of hollow-point ammunition.

The suspect was remanded to county jail in lieu of $125,000 bail.

Dowie said the man had a record dating to a May 1980 arrest in a Newark robbery case – disposition of that unknown. His second arrest, the chief said, came in Boonton in 1999, at which time he was convicted of possession of cocaine and a stun gun and served three years in state prison.

Records show the man was arrested again in Nutley in 2005, convicted of possession of heroin, cocaine and marijuana and a stun gun and was given five years’ probation. Arrested in Lavalette in 2006 for possession of heroin and cocaine, he received a 15-day jail sentence, a $1,200 fine, had his license lifted for six months and given three years‘ probation. The very next year, 2007, he was convicted of possession of a CDS or analog drug in East Hanover.

His penalty: Another three years’ probation.

(Editorial comment: What?!?)

In other police news, another drug bust was made April 27 after two Kearny males, one under age, called attention to themselves by leaving a liquor store with a 24-oz. bottle of beer sticking out of a plastic bag.

Dowie said that Officer Mike Andrews was on patrol at 8:45 p.m. at Kearny and Bergen Aves. When he spotted the duo, one of whom he knew to be under the legal drinking age. He stopped them as they walked west to Maple St. and detained the younger male, 19, for illegal possession of alcohol.

Andrews, asking the other individual for identification , told the man to remove his hand from his pocket, which he refused to do, the chief said. When the officer removed it for him, Dowie noted, three small ziplock bags, which appeared to contain marijuana, fell to the ground. The suspect, 22, allegedly was also in possession of an additional 16 baggies believe to contain pot, along with a bag of 13 Endocets.

The 19-year-old was released on a summons for alcohol possession. His older buddy was arrested for CDS possession with intent to distribute, possession within a school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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