FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield Police Department (FPD) announced the arrest of two men for various narcotic-related offenses on Feb. 14.

Officer Diego Ocampo arrested Samuel Miranda, 20, of Paterson, and George Paduani, 21, of Roanoke, Va., in the parking lot of the LaQuinta hotel Two Bridges Road at approximately 2:15 a.m. The officer had approached their 2005 Nissan, which he felt to be suspicious. When checking the vehicle, it is alleged that Ocampo detected a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from within the vehicle. At this time, it is also alleged that Paduani stepped out of the vehicle and had to be ordered back into the vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, police said the officer recovered a plastic bag containing 30 smaller plastic bags, each of which contained suspected marijuana in the coat pocket of Miranda. Also found in his possession was an open bottle of Hennessy liquors. Miranda was then placed under arrest without incident.

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As the investigation continued, it is alleged that officers also recovered a small plastic bag from underneath the vehicle in the area where Paduani had been when he exited the vehicle, which contained a white crystal powder substance later identified as “Molly.” Paduani was also placed under arrest without incident.

Miranda was charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of an alcoholic beverage while under the legal age. Paduani was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and for tampering with evidence. Both were eventually released on their own recognizance pending an appearance in the Superior Court in Newark on March 2.

Officer Helps Prevent Larger Fire at Local Business

Also on Feb. 14 at approximately 9:54 p.m., Sergeant David Proctor was on patrol when he came upon United Manufacturing Corporation, located at 23H Commerce Road and noticed water pouring out from under the rear overhead garage door. The fire department was dispatched and ultimately forced entry to the building.

Instead of finding a broken sprinkler pipe due to the extreme cold, they found a smoke condition and a small fire smoldering in an industrial electro-chemical cleaning machine located in the front portion of the manufacturing plant. The fire was extinguished. It was determined to be accidental and most probably caused by an electrical malfunction. The department did not receive any alarm notification for the water flow or fire.

“I commend Sergeant Proctor for his attentiveness and patrol abilities which ultimately helped to minimize the water and smoke damage to the business,” said Fairfield Police Chief Anthony G. Manna.

Credit Card Fraud Charges

Police announced the arrest of Nicole Raymond, 20, of Brooklyn, NY, for attempted credit-card fraud, identity theft, exhibiting a false document and tampering with evidence on Feb. 9.

On that date, at approximately 6:25 p.m., Fairfield police were contacted by the management of Unique Photo, located at 123 Route 46 West, reporting a possible credit-card fraud that was in progress. It was reported that a female was attempting to purchase approximately $3200 in camera equipment using what appeared to be a fraudulent Capital One Mastercard that the store could not get approval on.

It is further alleged that the suspect had produced a New York driver’s license in the same name on the credit card that also appeared to be fraudulent. Management took a copy of both documents and secretly alerted the police. The suspect then said to forget the transaction and exited the store where she was eventually detained by arriving officers. Raymond was positively identified as the individual who attempted to purchase the camera equipment.

During the course of the investigation, the officers could not find either the credit card or driver’s license that Raymond had presented earlier. According to police, she claimed that both belonged to her sister. As the investigation continued, officers contacted the individual that was listed on both the credit card and driver’s license and it is alleged that the individual did not have a sister or a Capital One Mastercard nor did she know Raymond. Raymond was eventually arrested, charged and released on her own recognizance pending an initial court date in the Superior Court in Newark on Feb. 25.

DUI and Hindering Apprehension Charges

The Fairfield Police Department announced the arrest of Rahkeem McGuire, 30, of Paterson, N.J. for driving under the influence and for hindering apprehension on Feb. 13. At approximately 1:31 a.m., Officer Diego Ocampo was on patrol in the parking lots of the LaQuinta hotel and the office building of 695 Route 46 West, when he allegedly observed a 2005 Dodge that was continually driving between the two parking lots, stopping in each for several minutes. The officer felt the activity to be suspicious and ultimately stopped the vehicle.

The driver, later identified as Rahkeem McGuire, initially identified himself to the officer as Eric McGuire, according to police. While speaking with McGuire, police said he was displaying signs and symptoms consistent with being under the influence to include the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath, slow speech and bloodshot eyes with droopy lids.

A computer check of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s database could not locate a driver’s license for the driver. McGuire’s actual name was revealed when the owner of the vehicle, who was McGuire’s girlfriend, approached the stop on foot and provided the officer with his real name. A further computer check revealed Rahkeem McGuire’s driver’s license to be suspended. He was then placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters.

While at headquarters, field sobriety tests and a breath test were administered. In addition to the aforementioned charges, McGuire was also charged with being both a suspended and unlicensed driver. He was released on his own recognizance pending an initial hearing in the Fairfield Municipal Court on Feb. 18.

(It should be noted that the charges against all are merely allegations and that they are presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.)