BARNEGAT, NJ - Barnegat Police officers and members of the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) arrested a driver last night after discovering both a handgun and cocaine in his possession.

Members of the CRU were in conducting an investigation in the area of Bowline Street. They observed a black Jeep driving recklessly and nearly striking several vehicles.

Hakeem Smith, 31, of Potamic Avenue was determined to be the operator of the vehicle. He continued on his course of reckless driving. A marked Barnegat police car eventually stopped Smith's vehicle at West Bay Avenue at Sandpiper Road. The address is almost literally across the street from the local police department.

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Smith refused to cooperate with officers and was removed from the car. The ensuing struggle resulted in discovery of a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun the accused had concealed on his person. Authorities also discovered an undisclosed amount of cocaine.

The Barnegat resident was taken into custody and is lodged in the Ocean Count Jail.  He faces charges for unlawful possession of a handgun (2nd degree), certain persons not to possess a firearm (4th degree), possession of hollow point ammunition (4th degree), eluding (3rd degree), resisting arrest (3rd degree), and possession of cocaine (3rd degree).

"This is yet another example of our officers-- who in this case included one of our new officers in just his third week of training-- demonstrating outstanding police work to safely resolve a highly volatile situation," said Chief Keith A. Germain.

This story was released by the Barnegat Police Department.  The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty.