PATERSON, NJ - A Bogota man was arrested Thursday after members of the Paterson Police Department found him in possession of a stolen loaded weapon as well as illegal drugs.

In a statement, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale announced the detectives assigned to the Paterson Narcotics Division were conducting an investigation in the area of Jelsma Place and Harrison Street just after 5:00 p.m. when they made a motor vehicle stop of a Honda Pilot near the area of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Montgomery Street.  

Upon approaching the vehicle, detectives observed the front passenger, later identified as Daniel J. Wendt, 29, attempting to conceal a plastic bag believed to contain controlled dangerous substances. As detectives attempted to further investigate Wendt’s actions, the suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

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While fleeing, Wendt discarded a black handgun onto the ground, detectives said.  The handgun was immediately recovered, and Wendt was arrested. Wendt was also reportedly found to be in possession of cocaine, marijuana, Xanax tablets, and approximately $1,381 in cash.

Wendt was charged with several crimes related to the possession of the weapon and drugs while the driver, identified as Rishard Castaneda, was arrested loitering to commit a CDS related offense. 

The handgun was stolen during a burglary in Columbia, South Carolina.

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