Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Arrest Five Long Island Residents for Cocaine Possession in Englewood Cliffs NJ
By Travis Tormey posted in Drug Charges on Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Around 3:00 AM on July 15, a Palisades Interstate Parkway officer observed a 2007 gray Honda illegally parked in a fire lane at a Sunoco gas station in Englewood Cliffs.
The officer stopped the car as the driver attempted to pull away in the wrong direction of traffic. At that time, the officer noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.
As the officer spoke with the four (4) occupants of the vehicle, a fifth passenger emerged from the gas station and joined the group.
Eventually, all five (5) individuals consented to a search of the car. The search turned up a large amount of cocaine and other drugs hidden in a duffel bag stored in the trunk of the car.
Although each of the occupants denied knowledge of the drugs, subsequent searches of the occupants found that four (4) of them were carrying drugs, including cocaine, liquid THC (marijuana), and MDMA (ecstasy).
The five people were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia, in addition to other related charges.
The individuals were identified as Neil Lippel, Fernando Soto, Corey Monath, Justin Clark, and Stephanie Banks.
In New Jersey, possession of cocaine carries serious penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1), cocaine possession is a third degree crime. This means that if convicted, Mr. Lippel, Mr. Soto, Mr. Monath, Mr. Clark, and Ms. Banks could each be looking at a term of imprisonment of between three (3) and five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison.
After being arrested, the group was taken to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack. They were ordered held on bonds ranging from $90,000.00 to $120,000.00.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Palisades Parkway Police Arrest Long Island Residents on Cocaine Distribution Charges.“
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