KPD: Or are you just glad to see us?

At 6 a.m. on Nov. 17, Officers David Bush and Jonathan Dowie pulled over a 2013 Hyundai that was straddling the center line as it headed east on Harrison Ave. near Bergen Ave.  When driver Justin Dukes, 29, of Turnersville, N.J., was asked for his credentials, police said, he started chattering about his new job in New York City, became increasingly nervous, began to sweat profusely and was constantly reaching for his waistband.

When he was asked to step from the car, the officers noted that there was a bulge in said waistband. Asked about it, Dukes reportedly replied, “It’s nothing. It’s probably my [inappropriate word not to be used in family newspaper.]”

Luckily for the cops, it turned out to be a plastic container allegedly holding five wax folds of heroin, stamped “Illuminati,” and two bags of suspected cocaine. Police said he also had a hypodermic needle in his sock.

Meanwhile, Dukes’ passenger, Sarah Sawyer-Poper, 20, of Turnersville, was observed apparently trying to stuff something between the seats. Police said that turned out to be a glass pipe. A further search of the vehicle reportedly produced:  two more pipes; three empty bags containing coke residue; copper wool (used as a filter in CDS pipes); two prescription bottles, one with penicillin, one with 35 naproxen tablets; and, under the driver’s seat, a loaded Winchester automatic pellet pistol.

Sawyer-Poper was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Charges against Dukes were: possession of cocaine, heroin, Rx drugs, drug paraphernalia and the syringe; possession of drugs in a motor vehicle; unlawful possession of a weapon; possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, and possession of a weapon by a person not to possess firearms. (Police said Dukes has a criminal history dating to 2006, including 11 arrests and two felony convictions.) He also got a summons for careless driving.

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

Nov.  16

Officer Sean Wilson responded to a 10:30 a.m. report of a shoplifter at Payless Shoes on Passaic Ave. and got a description of the suspect and her direction of flight. Police said Officer Kyle Plaugic spotted the woman – Christina Romano, 32, of Kearny – at Belgrove Drive and Lindsay Lane, where she was detained, identified by store personnel and arrested.

Police said a records check revealed she had two $500 warrants, both for assault, one from Belleville and one from Brick Township, and apparently two more names, Christina Benedetto and Christina Gagliardi. She was charged with shoplifting, on the warrants and with unlawful possession of a prescription drug (anxiety meds), and Kearny Judge Thomas D. McKeon added $2,000 to her bail.

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At 8:40 p.m., Officer Chris Manolis responded to a report of a suspicious person going door-to-door in the area of Grove St. and Highland Ave. and there encountered Nasiar Day, 18, of Newark, who reportedly claimed to be soliciting for a power company [at 8:40 p.m?]. Police said he had no town solicitation permit but he did have an Essex County warrant for robbery. He was arrested and turned over to Essex authorities, taking with him a Kearny summons for the permit violation.

Nov. 17

Officers Bush and Dowie, at Bergen and Harrison Aves. at 3 a.m., stopped a 2007 Chrysler that was travelling with its headlights off and reportedly detected a certain odor and saw loose marijuana scattered over the interior. In addition to the lighting violation, driver Khalil Johnson, 21, of Newark, was charged with possession of pot, drug paraphernalia and a prescription drug (promethazine).

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Officer Pat Becker, on patrol in South Kearny at 8:30 a.m., stopped a 2007 Toyota that had crossed two lanes of traffic and was driving on the shoulder of Rt. 7.  As is often the case, as dedicated blotter readers like Thomas know, the driver who called attention to himself ended up with more than just a traffic summons. Police said Charles Randell, 27, of Jersey City, had a suspended license and five warrants, all motor vehicle-related: Hazlet, $750; Jersey City, $574; Bayonne, $747; Newark, $100 and $2,500. He was arrested and the aforementioned municipalities were notified that he was in custody.

Nov. 19

At 7:30 a.m., Officer Sean Kelly reported a 2000 Cadillac stopped dead in the right northbound lane of Rt. 1/9 with other vehicles swerving around it and the driver asleep at the wheel. Police said Kelly managed to awaken Matthew Johnson, 29, of Irvington, after repeatedly shaking the car and shouting at him but he seemed unaware of his whereabouts.

Following field sobriety tests, and an Alcotest at headquarters, Johnson was charged with DWI, driving while suspended, parking on a highway, delaying traffic and obstructing traffic. He was eventually turned over to the Irvington PD since he was wanted on two MV-related warrants ($500 and $250) from that township.

Nov. 21

Officer Chris Levchak, responding to a 9:30 a.m. accident at the Belleville Pike and Schuyler Ave., found that one of the drivers had a suspended license and a MV warrant from Nutley, police said. Luis Velasquez, 39, of Newark, was arrested on those charges and for failing to surrender a suspended license, and Nutley PD was contacted.

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At 1:30 p.m., Officer Alan Stickno was called to ShopRite, where security reported having a shoplifter in custody. Police said Maureen Salamanca, 45, of East Orange, had attempted to steal 17 sticks of deodorant, worth $93. She was charged with theft, as well as possession of a glass pipe containing suspected crack-cocaine residue, and on three warrants: East Orange criminal warrant, $500; Pennsville, drug-related, $2,500; Bloomfield, shoplifting, $1,500.

Police said that as she was being transferred to the Hudson County Jail, she complained of feeling sick and had to be taken under guard to Jersey City Medical Center. But she was en route to the pokey by midnight.

Nov. 22

Officer Jordenson Jean, at Kearny Ave. and the Pike at 3 p.m., approached an occupied 2013 Hyundai parked in a prohibited area and reportedly observed inside an open can of Natural Ice beer and a marijuana pipe. Carmine Rispoli, 32, of Belleville, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and got summonses for the parking offense and having an open container of alcohol in an MV.

– Karen Zautyk


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