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police & fire

Mahwah PD: Route 287 Stops Turn Up Three Pounds Of Cocaine, Pound Of Pot

Pablo Perez Centenzo, Jose J. Baez Perez, Christian Marin, Gunnar Szul, Lucas Jackson.
Pablo Perez Centenzo, Jose J. Baez Perez, Christian Marin, Gunnar Szul, Lucas Jackson. Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. -- Mahwah police seized three pounds of cocaine in one traffic stop and a pound of pot in another.

K-9 Remco found the cocaine in a hidden compartment of a 2004 Nissan Armada that his partner, Officer Robert Rapp, stopped for an equipment violation on northbound Route 287, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.

Remco led Rapp to the rear of the center console, which had a metal trap door attached to a hydraulic system, the chief said.

The cocaine – worth about $75,000 on the street -- was packaged in air sealed plastic with other substances apparently designed to deter detection, he said.

The console also contained a small amount of marijuana and $678 in cash, Batelli said.

Police arrested the driver, Pablo Perez Centenzo, of Buffalo, and passenger Jose J. Baez Perez, of Puerto Rico – both of whom authorities said have extensive criminal histories involving drugs, weapons and assault.

The vehicle was impounded.

A few hours earlier, Officer Gregory Lehman stopped a white sedan for an unsafe lane change -- also on Route 287 -- and spotted loose marijuana and a vape inside, Batelli said.

The driver and two passengers “admitted to smoking marijuana earlier but denied having any contraband in the vehicle,” the chief said.

A consent search turned up the pound of marijuana, illegal prescription medication, DAB and the vape, which contained THC oil, he said.

Arrested on drugs charges were the driver, Christian Marin, 22, of Fruitland, MD; and passengers Gunnar Szul, 20, of Allentown, NJ and 19-year-old Lucas Jackson of Morristown.

All were released pending a court hearing. The vehicle was impounded.

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