Investigation at Bergenfield Public Housing Facility Results in Arrests, Drug Charges
By Travis Tormey posted in Drug Charges on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Two men from Bergen County are currently facing drug-related charges after officers from the Bergenfield Police Department conducted a drug raid with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit at a local public housing facility.
According to Chief Michael Carr of the Bergenfield Police Department, on Thursday, January 23rd, police detectives responded to reports of ongoing drug-related activities at the 293 Murray Hill Terrace public housing facility in Bergenfield. At approximately 7:30 p.m., they arrested 67-year-old Hackensack resident Alton Coleman as well as 29-year-old Englewood resident Phquon Cook, both of whom were attempting to flee the scene and were found in possession of crack-cocaine.
The two men are currently facing charges for possession of a cocaine as well as distributing, dispensing or possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) within 500 feet of certain public property. Authorities have not disclosed the quantity of the substances that the accused had in their possession at the time of the arrests, which will significantly impact the degree of the offenses for which they are charged, and thus, the sentences imposed if they are ultimately convicted. In addition, Cook was issued summonses for driving with a suspended license as well as possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
The additional charges they are facing in connection with N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1, which governs offenses involving distributing, dispensing, or possessing a controlled dangerous substance within 500 feet of certain public property, will increase the severity of the punishments imposed if the accused are found guilty. A “public housing facility” is among the locations delineated under this statute as “certain public property,” and is defined as:
“Any dwelling, complex of dwellings, accommodation, building, structure or facility and real property of any nature appurtenant thereto and used in connection therewith, which is owned by or leased to a local housing authority in accordance with the ‘Local Redevelopment and Housing Law,’ for the purpose of providing living accommodations to persons of low income.”
Offenses involving N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 can be classified as second or third degree crimes, depending upon the substance and the amount of said substance involved in the specific case.
Per reports, Coleman is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail, with his bail set at $123,000, while Cook was released after posting bail in the amount of $25,000. Both men are scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on Wednesday, January 29th; however, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office is currently making a determination as to whether or not the charges will be transferred up to be tried in the Bergen County Superior Court.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Bergenfield police arrest Hackensack man, 67, in crack bust