KPD: Seriously? Tinted front windows?

On Oct. 8 at 8:46 p.m., Officer Matt Knighton was patrolling the Belleville Turnpike and his attention was drawn to a grey Infiniti because its front windows were tinted. A license plate check against motor vehicle commission records told the officer that the Infiniti’s owner’s driver’s license was suspended.

Officer Knighton pulled over the car near Morgan Place. He and Officer Anthony Oliveira approached it to smell the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from within. As the officers spoke with driver, and vehicle owner, Christeena Santana, 32, of Bloomfield, they noted marijuana remnants littering the center console and Dutch Masters cigar wrappers on the floor.

Santana was arrested for driving with a suspended license. Officers seized a makeup bag containing three Ziploc bags of marijuana from the center console. They recovered eight Dutch Masters cigar wraps from the passenger side floor.

Santana was charged on a summons with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. She was ticketed for driving with a suspended license, failure to surrender a suspended license, safety glass requirements and operating a vehicle while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Santana was later released.

On Oct. 9 at 20 past midnight, Officer Sergio Nobre watched a black Honda Accord also with its front windows tinted being driven erratically through the Tullo’s Exxon parking lot in South Kearny. The vehicle pulled out onto Rts. 1 & 9, where Nobre queried its license plate against state motor vehicle records.

He found the license plate was registered to a silver car.

Officer Nobre pulled over the black Honda.

Driver Christopher J. Hernandez, 23, of Elizabeth, produced his license but not a registration or insurance card. Officer Nobre saw a nearly empty jar on the passenger seat that appeared to contain marijuana remnants and he smelled the odor of the raw vegetation within the car.

A package of Backwoods cigar leaf wrappers was inside the center console.

Hernandez wore a fanny pack around his waist, which reportedly contained a small jar of marijuana and a pack of Khalifa rolling papers. In the center console, Officer Nobre recovered a pack of Zig Zag rolling papers, a large plastic bag containing marijuana residue, a grinder containing marijuana residue, a smoking pipe, a rolling tray with marijuana residue on it, a Raw Garden THC cartridge and the aforementioned Backwoods wrappers. Tucked between the center console and the driver’s seat was a machete.

Hernandez was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was issued tickets for a host of traffic infractions and later released.

On Oct. 13 at 9:20 p.m., Officer Anthony Oliveira, patrolling the commercial district of Passaic Avenue, noticed an Audi Q7 pass him with one headlight burnt out. When he watched it straddle two lanes of Passaic Avenue as it proceeded northbound, he pulled over the SUV.

While waiting for driver Nika Johnson, 46, of Newark, to find his driving credentials, Officer Oliveira said he smelled burnt marijuana inside the vehicle. Engaging Johnson and his passenger, Takiya Cobb, 36, of East Orange, in conversation, the officer learned that, strangely, because the two were traveling in the same vehicle, they reportedly claimed to have different origins, destinations and travel purposes.

Officer Oliveira searched the SUV finding in the passenger compartment a small plastic bag of marijuana labeled “Animal Face,” a partially-smoked cigarillo marijuana cigar, a grinder containing marijuana remnants, a rolling tray, two packages of cigarillo cigars, a pill bottle containing marijuana remnants and three packages of glass vials and rubber corks commonly used to package crack and cocaine.

Ownership of the contraband was allegedly attributable solely to Ms. Cobb. She was charged on a summons with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Cobb was later released.

Johnson was arrested when an outstanding warrant for such was found that was issued by the Newark Court for a local ordinance violation and carrying a $200 bail. Johnson was ticketed for driving with a suspended license, maintenance of lamps and a violation of traffic on marked lanes. Newark authorities ordered him released from their warrant on his own recognizance, pending a new court date.

On Oct. 5 at 3:35 p.m., a Beech Street resident called police to report she just saw a man on a bicycle whom she thought to have stolen a package from her doorstep the day before. The caller later provided a video recording of the original incident to police.

Officer Ryan Stickno found the bicyclist pedaling just south of Town Hall. The man, later identified as Jeffrey Mosquea, 39, of Kearny, allegedly represented himself to the officer as having a different first name and date of birth. After confirming Mosquea’s identity, Officer Stickno arrested him for hindering apprehension.

Incident to his arrest, officers recovered from Mosquea 10 individually-packaged articles of Old Navy clothing and four new boxes of HP printer ink cartridges. The ownership of those items remains under investigation.

Mosquea was originally held on an outstanding traffic warrant issued by Secaucus Court. However, Secaucus authorities later released Mosquea on his own recognizance pending a new court date.

On Oct. 10 at 3:06 in the morning, Officer Nicole Williams saw a Ford pickup truck with a burnt out headlight whose driver weaved across the double yellow street lines while passing her. She turned around and followed the padiddled pickup noting that it swerved several times and was traveling markedly below the 25 miles per hour speed limit of Kearny Avenue.

She pulled over the Ford, backed up by the “Old Rough and Ready” brothers, Officers Zachary and Taylor Latka. Officer Williams found cause to administer field-sobriety tests, which driver Felix M. Tenemaza, 38, of Kearny, did not well negotiate. Williams arrested Tenemaza and charged him with drunken driving and seized three empty 24-ounce Heineken beer cans from his cab.

Tenemaza was ticketed for DWI and other traffic offenses related to his operation that evening. He was later released to a sober adult.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.