SPARTA, NJ - Sparta police have charged a Hopatcong man with several drug charges, stemming from a traffic stop. Michael Bergbreiter-Piazza was a passenger in a car that was stopped for speeding on Route 15 according to police.
Sparta Cpl. Joe Antonello stopped a 1998 Nissan on January 30 around 1 p.m. In addition to speeding the car had an expired inspection sticker. When Antonello spoke with the 28-year-old driver Michael Radino, he suspected saw drug paraphernalia in the car, according to police.
Antonello spoke with the passenger Piazza, because, according to police, he appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic. Once outside the car, drug paraphernalia fell out of his pant leg or shoe. Piazza was searched and found to have 72 wax folds of heroin and two hypodermic needles in his shoe, police report.
Piazza was taken into custody and brought to Sparta Police Department Headquarters for processing.
A K-9 from the Sussex County Sheriff's office was brought to search the vehicle but nothing else was found, according to police.
Piazza was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of hypodermic syringes. He was released pending a court date.
The driver, Radino was charged with speeding, maintenance of lamps, expired rejected inspection sticker and failure to produce a driver's license. He had left the scene after the motor vehicle stop.
Sparta officers Sgt John Lamon and Cpl. Frank Schomp assisted with the investigation. Officer Kieren McMorrow from the Sussex County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the investigation.