KPD: Drug charges, fake IDs & bail reform

A routine traffic stop last week led to the arrest of a man whose car allegedly held not only marijuana but a secret compartment stuffed with phony driver’s licenses (and two stolen credit cards). Enough to send the guy to the county jail? Not under New Jersey’s new bail reform rules, authorities said.
At 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, KPD Officers Michael Gontarczuk and Andre Fernandes pulled over a Florida-registered 2002 Toyota that was reportedly swerving in the roadway at Harrison Ave. and the Newark Turnpike. Police said the vehicle documents produced by driver Roneil Bredwood, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., included an expired insurance card, and that the car itself was producing the odor of pot.

Allegedly found in the auto were a plastic bag of the drug, “Bob Marley” rolling papers and a bag of tobacco outer leaves. While these, and a half-full bottle of New Amsterdam Apple Vodka, were being recovered, police said, Gontarczuk noticed a loose panel on the steering column, inside of which were 12 fraudulent driver’s licenses, a Capital One bank card and a Visa card.

Police said one of the licenses was supposedly from Massachusetts; the rest, New York State. They reportedly bore the names and images of both males and females — but the photos of the male were all the same.

Bredwood received MV summonses for the unsafe lane change, the expired insurance, possession of a CDS in a MV, and the open container of alcohol. Criminally, he was charged with possession of pot/paraphernalia, possession of false government documents, trafficking in personal information pertaining to another, and credit card theft.

He was processed at headquarters, and released on summonses, thanks to bail reform, sources told us. However, considering the amount of false IDs, the KPD said it also notified Homeland Security of the arrest. Apparently, such notification does not yet violate suspects’ rights in N.J.

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

Feb. 11

At 2 a.m., Officer Mina Ekladious stopped a 2012 Nissan with unclear license plates on Passaic Ave., detected the odor of pot and reportedly recovered five loose nuggets and a baggie of the drug from the center console. Police said passenger Nicole Flanagan, 38, of New York City, admitted ownership and, in a search incident to arrest, was found to also be in possession of eight baggies of suspected cocaine, one of crack cocaine, and an Adderall pill. She was booked on six drug counts, including possession of coke with intent to distribute. The driver, a 48-year-old N.Y.C. man, got a summons for the plate violation.

Feb. 15

At 7 p.m., Officers Jose Castillo and Victor Girdwood, responding to a QuickChek request to remove a panhandler from its parking lot, issued to Paulo Desa, 42, of Kearny, a summons for violating the township ordinance against “begging for alms.” [Seriously. That’s the statute. We wonder, if he had run into a church, could he have claimed sanctuary?] No sooner had the cops resumed patrol than Desa allegedly began to “key” the store manager’s 2013 Toyota. The officers returned, viewed security video and arrested Desa for criminal mischief.

Feb. 16

Shortly before noon, pursuant to an ongoing investigation, Vice officers confronted Shayne McDonnell, 22, of Kearny, on Halstead St. near Maple St. and reportedly confiscated 39 wax folds of heroin: 10 marked “Amazing”; 10, “Commission,” and 19, “Mochino.” McDonnell was charged with possession of the drugs and possession with intent to distribute.

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Officers Ekladious and Sean Wilson were called to Walmart at 6:20 p.m. on a report that a purse had been stolen from a customer’s shopping cart and the thief was fleeing on foot. When the victim provided a description of the suspect, Ekladious recalled that, while en route to the store, he had seen someone who fit it walking west on Harrison Ave. The officer backtracked and, near Sanford Ave., stopped Michael Sopko, 26, of South Plainfield, who was subsequently ID’d by the victim, police said.

Police said Sopko admitted to the crime but said he had dumped the purse in a garbage can at Taco Bell. It was recovered there intact. He was arrested for theft.

Feb. 19

At 5:40 p.m., Midtown Pharmacy reported that a possible shoplifter had just fled the store. When Officers Richard Carbone and Ben Wuelfing and Chief John Dowie located suspect Ross Brown, 25, of Summit, on Midland Ave. near Franklin Place, he reportedly stated that he had been thinking of taking something but did not because he knew he was being watched. He ended up under arrest anyway, on two warrants, both for shoplifting: Neptune, $1,000 bail; Secaucus, $500. Those jurisdictions were notified.

Feb. 21

Officer Gontarczuk, on patrol at midnight at Devon St. and Johnston Ave., stopped a 2004 Toyota for tail-light and license plate violations and encountered driver Anthony Joana, 42, of Kearny, who, police said, made the mistake of identifying himself by another name. [“Mistake” because Gontarczuk was already aware of his identity.] In the car, police said, was marijuana, and on his person, four wax folds of “Freebandz” heroin.

Joana was charged with possession of the drugs and paraphernalia, possession of a CDS in a MV, driving with a suspended license and hindering apprehension — and he ended up in the Hudson County Jail.

Feb. 22

At 1:10 a.m., Officer Ekladious pulled over a 2003 Mazda for a tail light violation at Schuyler and Quincy Aves. and reportedly spotted a partially smoked marijuana cigar in the cup holder. Police said driver Hayden Ulloa, 19, of Newark, turned over two large bags of suspected pot and admitted there were morphine pills in the center console. A search of the car reportedly also produced two more bags of weed, six partially smoked pot cigars, a plastic bag of suspected cocaine, six suspected morphine pills and five empty glassine bags.

Ulloa was hit with pot, cocaine, and Rx drug-possession charges, as well as possession of pot with intent to distribute, and paraphernalia possession. He was processed at HQ. And he was released on a summons. Because …

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