YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Fort Lee police who seized nearly a half-kilo of crack — more than federal agents said they’d seen in some time — arrested one man on the spot and issued a warrant for another, who they said was grabbed in upstate New York this week.
It began with a traffic stop on Route 4 West near Englewood on Sept. 18, when Detectives Cory Horton and T.J. Cullen pulled over a silver Nissan Sentra for tailgating, Capt. Thomas Ottina said this morning.
Both “could smell marijuana coming from the passenger compartment” as they approached the car, he said.
The passenger, 38-year-old Audris Gonzalez of the Bronx, admitted smoking pot as he and the driver entered New Jersey from the city, Ottina said.
The driver, 37-year-old Efrain Gonzalez of Washington Heights, refused to grant permission to search the car, Ottina said, so police released him on two motor-vehicle summonses pending a search.
They held on to Audris Gonzalez, however, after finding traffic warrants on him out of the borough.
The detectives then had the Nissan towed to police headquarters and obtained a search warrant.
In the trunk, they found a pound of crack which, if broken down, could fetch $60,000 on the street, Ottina said.
A DEA agent said “they have not seen that much crack since the late 90’s,” the captain added.
Audris Gonzalez remained held this morning on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
New York State Police arrested Efrain Gonzalez on a Fort Lee warrant on Tuesday, Ottina said. He has an Oct. 10 extradition hearing and faces first-degree charges in New Jersey of having crack with the intent to sell it, as well as possessing it within 500 feet of public housing.
Charges against Audris Gonzalez were upgraded to the same.
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