HALEDON, NJ - What seemed like a relatively simple traffic stop for littering turned into something much more serious, according to the Haledon Police Department. On Thursday, February 27, Haledon Police Sergeant Timothy Lindberg noticed a green 1998 Ford Expedition fail to make proper use of a turn signal and ignore a red light at Central Avenue and Barbour Street at about 10:08 p.m. Lindberg was said to also have observed a passenger in the rear knocking cigar ashes out the window, a littering offense.
Lindberg pulled the vehicle over and approached, looking to obtain the identities of those in the vehicle, a driver and one passenger in the back. The driver was identified as Xavier Gibbs, 21, from East Orange. The passenger in the rear allegedly used a false name when questioned by Lindberg, who later identified him as Dante Barker, also 21, from East Orange. Lindberg placed Barker under arrest for "hindering his own apprehension, prosecution, or detention" which Barker was said to have struggled against for a short time. On searching Barker, the police said that six envelopes of heroin were found. Lindberg was assisted by Police Officer Andrea Len, Special Police Officer Captain John Lindberg, Special Police Officer Michael Moore, Special Police Officer Kris Duci, as well as members of William Paterson University's Police Department.
The police said that there was a smell of marijuana coming from inside the Ford and a search by Lindberg turned up a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol in the central console, a weapon that had been stolen from Georgia. Additionally, sixteen Oxycodone pills in a "defaced prescription bottle" as well as two containers of marijuana were found.
Haledon Police said that Gibbs "claimed responsibility" for the stolen pistol, marijuana, and the Oxycodone pills, and was placed under arrest. A search of Gibbs yielded an unspecified amount of cash, which was seized by police.
"The stolen handgun was logged into evidence and it will be submitted for ballistic analysis," Police Lieutenant George Guzman, Public Information Officer, said. "The Haledon Police will seek forfeiture of the funds seized as they are believed to be proceeds drug distribution."
Barker was charged with "Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute (Third Degree Crime)," "Resisting Arrest (Disorderly Persons Offense)," and "Hindering Apprehension (Disorderly Persons Offense)." It was also found that Barker had an "active traffic warrant" from Irvington and subsequently turned over to the Irvington Police Department's custody.
Gibbs was charged with "Unlawful Possession of a Handgun (Second Degree Crime)," "Unlawful Possession of a Handgun for Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree Crime)," "Receiving Stolen Property (Third Degree Crime)," "Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Distribute (Third Degree Crime)," and "Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute (Fourth Degree Crime)." He was then transported to the Passaic County Jail in Paterson to await a central judicial procession court appearance.
“I am proud of the hard-work and dedication my officers demonstrate every day," Haledon Police Chief Angelo J. Daniele said. "Our police department is deeply dedicated to keeping Haledon a safe place to both live, travel and work."
The Haledon Police Department said "Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Barker are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, in a court of law."
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