Published on August 20th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
New York men spotted by detectives in an apparent narcotics transaction
A city man and a Bronx man face drug charges after Passaic County sheriff’s detectives spotted a drug transaction near the Haledon border, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said Wednesday.
Jose S. Checo-Duran, 29, of Paterson and Luis Lozano-Santiago, 29, of The Bronx were arrested Tuesday night after they drove away from what appeared to be a narcotics transaction in a known high drug area near Belmont Avenue, according to the sheriff.
The detectives also seized a 2005 Jeep Cherokee with specially installed hidden compartments, along with $6,000 and a two-ounce block of pure heroin valued at $17,000, Berdnik said.
He said the detectives saw the green Jeep, with New York license plates, circling the area around 7:30 p.m., then stop so the occupants could engage in a conversation with a man at Belmont Avenue and North 6th Street. After a short time, the conversation culminated in what appeared to be a drug deal, Berdnik said, and the men in the Jeep drove away from the area.
The detectives ran a check on the license plates, and the response came back “not on file,” the sheriff said. The detectives followed the vehicle and stopped it at West Broadway and Laurel Avenue, he added. Berdnik said detectives interviewed the driver and passenger and found “several conflicts” concerning the history of the Jeep, as well as “inconsistent statements” about the relationship between the two men.
The detectives sent for a drug-sniffing dog, which then indicated a positive response for narcotics in the vehicle, Berdnik said, so the Jeep was impounded and taken to Sheriff’s Department headquarters for a more thorough search. The sheriff said the search revealed “two custom hidden hydraulic compartments in the vehicle commonly used by drug traffickers for concealment.” The heroin and cash were found in the two compartments, Berdnik said. “The 2005 Jeep Cherokee is subject to forfeiture,” he added.
Checo-Duran, the passenger, was identified as an undocumented alien who also went by the name of Angel Rivera, Berdnik said.
Lozano-Santiago, the driver, is on probation in New York for a prior drug-selling offense, Berdnik said. Both men were charged with illegal possession of drugs with intent to distribute and with distribution within 1,000 feet of a school. They were being held initially at the Paterson police lockup pending a bail hearing, Berdnik said.
Source: northjersey.com “New York men spotted by detectives in an apparent narcotics transaction,” August 21, 2013.