PATERSON, NJ - A Saturday traffic stop by two Paterson police officers ended in the confiscation of a loaded weapon and more than 235 grams of suspected marijuana allegedly packaged for individual sale.
According to Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, the incident unfolded at approximately 9:00 p.m. when Officers J. Dabal and M. Bashir of the Emergency Response Team were on patrol in the Fifth Ward. The officers, travelling in a marked police unit, the report states, observed the driver of a Black Chrysler 300 traveling at a high rate of speed as it turned on Cedar Street.
The officers began to follow the vehicle onto Cedar Street where they are said to have observed it turn left onto Chestnut Street without signaling before the driver parked in front of an active driveway with half of the vehicle in the street.
It is at this point when the officers turned on their emergency lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop and approached the vehicle. Met with an “overwhelming odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle,” and observing a black metallic object typically used to grind marijuana, the driver, identified as Javier Ortega, 38, Paterson, was asked to step out of the vehicle.
Out of his vehicle Ortegan is said to have began to cry and asked to call his girlfriend. As Officer Dabal kept watch on the suspect Officer Bashier searched the vehicle at which point the drugs were said to have been found under the rear passenger seat while the weapon, later determined to be stolen, was found under the front passenger seat.
Ortega was placed under arrest and transported to Police Headquarters where he was charged with numerous narcotics and weapons offenses and issued five motor vehicle infractions.
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