KPD: Fidgeting is dead giveaway

Last Thursday, July 28, Officers Chris Manolis and Jon Dowie were on patrol at Bergen and Schuyler Aves. at 2:45 a.m. when they were alerted that the owner of a 2014 Jeep in the area was a wanted man, and they subsequently arrested driver Denis Afonso, 35, of Harrison, on a criminal warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Afonso was deposited in their patrol car for the ride to KPD headquarters, during which he began fidgeting, raising suspicions that he might be trying to secrete something, police said. At HQ, the vehicle was searched, and in the rear seat area reportedly were found three wax folds of heroin, stamped “Dead Man Walking.”  

The standard suspect response of “It’s not mine!” would not have worked (does it ever?) because police said another fold of “Dead Man Walking” and a cut straw were discovered in one of Afonso’s socks. 

After being charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS, he was turned over to Essex County Sheriff’s officers. 

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Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

July 22

Officers Manolis and Andre Fernandes responded at 8 p.m. to a concerned citizen’s report of a suspicious car parked on the 500 block of Kearny Ave. 

Approaching the 2004 Hyundai, they found it occupied by Nelson Ramos, 33, of Clifton, who reportedly was wanted on a $500 theft-related warrant from Wayne. In a search incident to arrest, Ramos was allegedly found to have five folds of suspected heroin and two more containing residue of the drug. (No brand name this time.) He was charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia, and the Wayne PD was advised of his arrest. 

July 24

At 8 a.m., Officer Alan Stickno took a report from a 21-year-old Kearny woman who said she had been thrown down a flight of stairs at a Midland Ave. location. Police said her account was corroborated by a witness, and Municipal Court Judge Thomas D. McKeon authorized an aggravated-assault warrant for Abraham Leiva, 33, of Kearny.

Stickno, Sgt. Dave Rakowski and Officers T.J. Hernandez and Pat Becker located and arrested Leiva at the Midland location. Police said he was also found to have a $200 Montclair warrant for resisting arrest. McKeon set his Kearny bail at $10,000, and the Montclair PD was alerted.

Police said the victim suffered head injuries and was treated at the scene by the North Arlington EMS.

July 25

At midnight, Vice officers reported, they stopped a 2006 Toyota at Passaic Ave. and Marshall St. and arrested driver Christopher James, 23, of Newark, for driving while suspended and on four active warrants: a no-bail criminal warrant out of Belleville; a $500 Bloomfield MV warrant, and traffic warrants from Wall Township, $500, and Newark, $200.

When one of the detectives opened the car door, he reportedly observed a plastic bag of suspected cocaine on the driver’s side floor, so James was additionally charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia.  

Also arrested was James’ passenger, Jasmine Marte, 22, of Newark, who police said had a $1,000 (no 10%) criminal warrant from Newark and a $500 drug-related warrant from Wall. 

The various agencies were notified that James was in custody, but Marte bailed herself out.

July 26

At 8 a.m., police said, Officers Daniel Esteves and Daniel Lopez pulled over a 2010 Ford for failure to obey the stop sign at Devon St. and Woodland Ave. and were advised by HQ that driver Mary Chapman, 26, of Bloomfield, had three MV warrants — Garfield, $300; Montclair, $215; Bloomfield, $89 — and that both her driver’s license and registration were suspended. She was charged on all of same, along with failure to surrender a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle. Garfield sent officers to HQ to take her into custody.

July 27

Shortly after 1 a.m., Officers Esteban Gonzalez and Michael Alvarez stopped a 1997 N.Y.-registered BMW that reportedly was being driven erratically by Dexter Hamilton, 28, of Brooklyn, at the Belleville Pike and Sellers St.  

Police said Hamilton was found to have a $955 MV-document warrant from Ridgefield Borough. He was arrested on that and summonsed for careless driving, and the Ridgefield PD was notified.

 July 28

 Vice officers, on the 600 block of Kearny Ave. at 5:20 p.m., watched as a 2008 Nissan driven by Douglas Fitzsimmons, 53, of North Arlington, pulled over and a hand-to-hand transaction apparently took place with a pedestrian, Alfonse Sessa, 46, of Kearny.

The car drove away, but the detectives stopped Sessa and reportedly confiscated a plastic bag of suspected cocaine. 

They then confronted Fitzsimmons, who had parked only a short distance away, and observed on the auto’s console $60, believed to be the transaction proceeds. 

Police said an additional $423 was recovered from the vehicle. 

Sessa was charged with possession of coke and drug paraphernalia; Fitzsimmons, with possession and distribution of the drug and possession of paraphernalia. The $483 was to be submitted for forfeiture.

— Karen Zautyk

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