SPARTA, NJ - A West Orange man driving erratically on Route 15 caught the attention of Sparta Police Cpl. Rick Smith on April 9. Smith saw the 2011 Toyota, driven by Joseph Dario accelerate rapidly then nearly come to a complete stop while on Route 15. Dario was also weaving in and out of the lane and even onto the shoulder, according to police.
Smith stopped the 31-year-old at 1:27 a.m. He suspected Dario was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Police Officer Erick Finley was also on the scene as Dario was given field sobriety tests. While attempting the tests Officer Smith say a small plastic bag containing a white powdery substance fall on the ground. Smith suspected the bag to contain cocaine, police report.
When Dario was searched, the officers found four more baggies of cocaine. In Dario's car the officers found a number of prescription bottles with assorted medication, police report.
Dario was taken into custody and transported to Sparta Police Department Headquarters. A Drug Recognition Expert examined Dario and found him to be under the influence of cocaine and prescription medication, police report.
Dario was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance, being under the influence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of prescription drugs. He also received tickets for driving while intoxicated, DWI within 1000 feet of a school, open container, controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle, careless driving, unsafe lane changes and speeding.
He was released several hours later to a sober adult pending a court date.
Ogdensburg Police Sgt. Joe Sanfillipo also assisted with the investigation.