Bust alleged repeat drug offender

By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 


A Kearny man, arrested in January on drug charges, was busted again last week and has now been remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $50,000 bail, with no 10% option.

On Monday, Feb. 2, Kearny vice detectives were at Chestnut and Liberty Sts. at 10:30 p.m., when they spotted Jon Verastegui, 25, in a 1997 Toyota. Chief John Dowie said the officers believed he was in the area for a drug transaction and, when they approached the vehicle, saw him stuffing something down his pants.

They removed him from the car, but he reportedly refused to comply with their orders to keep his hands in full view and they had to forcibly extract same from his waistband. Also extracted, Dowie said, was a large plastic bag containing 11 grams of marijuana.

Verastegui was arrested and transported to KPD headquarters by Officer Dean Gasser. When the suspect was removed from the patrol car at HQ , police said, Gasser noticed “a substantial number” of blue pills on and about the back seat, where the prisoner had been sitting. More blue pills — in Dowie’s words, “a breadcrumb trail” — reportedly were falling out of Verastegui’s pants as he was escorted to booking.

Police said they recovered 26 tablets of the prescription drug clonazepam.

Also seized for evidence was $379 in currency.

Back on Jan. 8, following an investigation into cocaine distribution in Kearny, Verastegui had been arrested by Vice on Bergen Ave. on charges of possession and distribution of that drug.

The charges he now faces are: possession of clonazepam and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute both drugs, intent to distribute both in a school zone (Kearny High School) and near a park, resisting arrest and obstruction of the administration of law.

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