Police & Fire

Passengers in Three Incidents Arrested for Marijuana Possession in Fairfield


FAIRFIELD, NJ — Three individuals were recently arrested in Fairfield for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana during three separate incidents while officers were conducting motor vehicle stops.

The first occurred on May 16 when two Sophia DeCarlo, 21, of Totowa was found to be the driver of a failing to maintain a lane on Passaic Avenue, according to police. Officer Jeffrey Dean conducted an investigation that led to the discovery of a quantity of suspected marijuana and items of drug paraphernalia to include two grinders.

She was placed under arrest, charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and released on her own recognizance pending court action.

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The second incident occurred later the same day when Officers Steven Ptaszynski and Brian Geisler, riding in a two-officer vehicle, observed a vehicle also failing to maintain its lane on Route 46 East. As the officers spoke with the vehicle’s occupants, they detected a pungent odor of raw marijuana coming from within the vehicle.

As the investigation continued, officers recovered a small quantity of suspected marijuana from the individual in the rear passenger seat, who was not identified. He was then placed under arrest, charged and released on his own recognizance pending court action. The driver was issued a summons for careless driving.

The third individual was identified as Irwin Ortiz, 25, of Fairlawn, who was arrested for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to turn over a controlled dangerous substance to a law enforcement officer on May 23.

At approximately 9:27 a.m., Officer Steven D’Argenio was monitoring traffic on Route 46 when he observed a 2016 Nissan, which was traveling west, with tinted windows. According to police, a check of the vehicle’s registration revealed that the driver’s license of the vehicle’s registered owner was suspended, at which time the vehicle was stopped.

During the traffic stop, D’Argenio said he detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from within the vehicle. A subsequent investigation revealed the discovery of approximately 29 grams of suspected marijuana, a digital scale, a smoking pipe and two grinders, according to police.

Ortiz was arrested without incident, charged and released on his own recognizance pending court action. He was also charged with several motor vehicle violations to include operating on the revoked list and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle.

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