Drugs figure in 2 weekend arrests: HPD


Two men were arrested by the Harrison Police Department in separate drug busts conducted this past weekend in Harrison.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, shortly before 1 a.m., Harrison Police Officer Joseph Sloan and Det. Sgt. Richard Lourenco were working a special task force when they observed a 2013 Mercedes Benz parked with its engine running at Warren and S. Second Sts., police said.

Police said the driver – later identified as Samuel W. Davalos – appeared to be slumped over in his seat.

However, when the officers approached the driver’s side window, Davalos was alert and had what appeared to be a marijuana grinder in his hands, police said.

Davalos was ordered out of the car and onto the sidewalk where he was pat-searched for weapons, police said. Then, police said, Sloan searched the vehicle where he discovered a clear bag reportedly containing a green leafy vegetation suspected to be marijuana concealed in a coffee mug along with three packages of rolling papers.

Police had the Mercedes towed and charged Davalos, 24, of North Bergen, with possession of 50 grams of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia and released, pending court action.

In a second incident, on Sunday, Sept. 11, Officers Corey Karas and Matthew Murphy and Det. Frank Narvaez were assigned to a robbery task force, checking vehicles on Taft Place near Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South, shortly after 2 a.m., when they observed a Honda Civic with its dashboard lights on, police said.

Inside the vehicle, asleep in the driver’s seat, was a man known to police as David Passos, with the keys in the ignition and the vehicle running but the gear shift in park, police said.

Police said Narvaez and Murphy began knocking on the driver’s side window for a few minutes, trying to rouse Passos, who finally responded.

As he began looking around, Passos appeared confused and put the vehicle in reverse but did not accelerate, police said.

After the officers yelled to put it back in park, police said Passos left the car in reverse, turned off the motor and removed the keys, causing the car to roll backwards toward Narvaez while Passos exited.

Narvaez and Karas held the car back while Murphy entered the vehicle to put the gear shift into park, police said.

Police said that when Passos opened the car door to exit, the officers detected a strong odor of burnt and raw marijuana from his body and from inside the car. Passos, meanwhile, was mumbling his words, his eyes were bloodshot, he was holding onto the vehicle to balance himself and he stumbled trying to walk, police said.

Police said Karas, aiming his flashlight inside the car, spotted in the center console a knotted plastic baggie reportedly containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine. Also, in the rear passenger seat, Karas found multiple prescription bottles, police said.

The officers recovered two prescription bottles, one labeled as containing 17 amphetamine slats, 20 mgs each, and the other labeled as having 30 tablets of Bupropion XL 150 extended release tablets, both listed as issued to a Harrison woman. In the rear seat, police said the officers found an empty blue bottle labeled as Promethazine with codeine that belonged to a woman from Franklin in Sussex County.

Murphy, meanwhile, found a small plastic baggie in the driver’s side door reportedly containing a green and brown vegetation believed to be marijuana, police said.

After getting consent from the vehicle’s owner to continue a search – given that there was reportedly a strong odor of raw marijuana emanating from the trunk – the officers opened the trunk where they observed an unzipped blue duffel bag and a large quantity of marijuana vacuum-sealed. Upon opening the bag, the officers found more vacuum-sealed bags, both sealed and partly-sealed, police said.

Also discovered in the trunk was a box of Food Saver vacuum seal bags, police said.

All the items found inside the vehicle were seized as evidence, police said. Additionally, police seized $384 in cash reportedly found on Passos.

Passos, 24, of Harrison, was arrested on criminal charges of possession and distribution of CDS and was issued motor vehicle summonses for DWI and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.

Police said they anticipate filing additional charges against Passos as the investigation continues.


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