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Fort Lee police: Open truck at Route 4 motel yields 4 ounces of cocaine, 2 arrests

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 4-ounce bag of cocaine was sticking out in plain view of an unoccupied truck that had two of its door open in the back of a Route 4 motel, leading to the arrests of two men on drug charges, Fort Lee police said.

Officers Zachary Joseph and Jared Zusi were checking area hotels and motels just before 5 a.m. Friday when they spotted the black, 2005 Ford F150 with its front driver’s side door and rear driver’s side door open at the Courtesy Motel, Detective Captain Stanley Zon said tonight.

“The vehicle was unoccupied and officers were concerned for the well-being of the owner or operator of the vehicle,” Zon said. “The [o]fficers canvassed the area for any occupants [who] may be sick, injured, or in need of help, but none were located.”

Using their flashlights, the officers “inspected the interior of the vehicle with the use of their flashlights,” the captain said. “No signs of distress or forced entry were observed.

“The vehicle’s interior appeared to be intact and undisturbed,” he added.

Joseph then “observed in plain view a clear, vacuum[-]sealed bag containing a large amount of an off-white rock[-]like substance consistent with the packaging and appearance of” cocaine, Zon said.

“This was protruding from the front passenger’s side door open storage panel.”

Sgt. Frank Pantaleo and Officer Carlos Cabrera joined the officers, who seized the coke.

Then they waited.

At 8:10 a.m., Angel Santiago of Bridgeport, CT and Geneno Mable of the Bronx, both 40, emerged from the motel, Zon said.

The officers approached as Santiago got into the truck, the captain said. Mable then walked up, as well, he said.

Both were carrying pot and were arrested, Zon said.

Santiago and Mabel were each being held on $75,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with cocaine and marijuana possession, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.

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