HACKENSACK, NJ -- Two New York men who had marijuana on them and crashed their SUV off Route 80 in Hackensack following a high-speed police pursuit are facing charges for possession of narcotics.

On January 8 at around 1 p.m., a detective with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office pulled over the vehicle on Interstate 80. As police approached the driver, 27-year-old Deiby Valdez-Santos, a landscaper from New York City, abruptly hit the gas and sped off. After calling in the Honda’s Connecticut license plate, the detective ascertained that it did not match the car’s registration. Shortly thereafter, another detective spotted the vehicle traveling eastbound on the highway and tried to stop it. His attempt proved futile as Valdez-Santos continued speeding to elude police. Detectives terminated the pursuit as a safety precaution.

A little up the highway, Valdez-Santos attempted to make a swift turn from the left lane onto the Hudson Street exit in Hackensack, but the vehicle went onto the grassy median, hit a wall, and landed on its side before it was sideswiped by another driver. No one was injured. 

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After the crash, police arrested Valdez-Santos and the occupant, 25-year-old Jose R. Rodriguez-Castillo, a mechanic from Forest Hills, New York.   

Valdez-Santos was charged with one count each of eluding and possession of marijuana and transported to the Bergen County Jail pending his first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. Rodriguez-Castillo was charged with one count of possession of marijuana and released on his own recognizance, also pending a court appearance.