YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bogus IDs given to a Fort Lee detective by two of three men during a routine traffic stop near the George Washington Brdige led to the discovery of watches, jewelry, coins and a rare baseball card — all believed stolen — as well as burglary tools, authorities said tonight.
All three were arrested following the stop last Wednesday night by plainclothes Detective T.J. Cullen on Lemoine Avenue and Bridge Plaza North.
The driver of the minivan, later identified as Sonny George, 45, of Medford MA, immediately began apologizing before Cullen even began speaking to him, Detective Capt. Stanley Zon said.
Meanwhile, his two passengers began acting suspiciously, Zon said.
George gave Cullen a Florida driver’s license with his photo and a different identity, the captain said.
“Closer examination revealed that it was a fraudulent government document,” he said.
One of the passengers, identified as Frank Blake, 44, of Scottsdale, AZ, showed him the rental agreement for the minivan and an Arizona driver’s license with his photo and someone else’s information, Zon said.
That, too, was fake, he said.
The third occupant, 39-year-old Anthony Nicholas of Richardson, TX, provided a genuine Texas driver’s license, Zon said.
All three told Cullen that they’d flown to Boston to rent the vehicle, then drove to visit family in New Jersey, he said.
After receiving consent to search the minivan, Zon said, Cullen found:
- a gold Babe Ruth baseball card;
- several watches;
- various men’s and women’s jewelry;
- older-issue silver coins;
- a prying tool, gloves and two way radios.
“FBI inquiry and fingerprint checks obtained from all three individuals revealed their real identities,” the captain said. “The investigation is continuing into the merchandise seized as stolen property and investigation into burglaries recently committed in the surrounding areas.”
Meanwhile Blake and Nicholas were being held on $50,000 bail each, and George on $35,000, in the Bergen County Jail.
Charges include receiving stolen property, ID theft, hindering and transporting criminal proceeds.
George also received several traffic summonses.
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