ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. – A tailgating stop by a Rochelle Park police officer on Route 17 led to the discovery of five packages of heroin, as well as two cellphones stolen from the Teterboro Costco, and the arrests of two Philadelphia men, authorities said.
Officer Jared Shatkin spotted the black Nissan with Pennsylvania license plates on the northbound highway just after 2:30 p.m. Monday.
While speaking with both occupants, Shatkin smelled burnt marijuana from inside the car, said Lt. Dean Pinto, who arrived soon after.
Interviewed separately, the pair “provided conflicting stories as to their whereabouts throughout the day and as to where they had been and why they were in the area despite being from Philadelphia, making [us] suspicious,” Pinto said.
In the car, the officers saw vials used to package marijuana, “as well as numerous devices used to commit retail theft, such as electronic keys, wire cutters and heavy-duty magnets,” the lieutenant said.
They also found two brand new cellphones point-of-sale “display mode,” with no packaging or receipts, he said.
Security footage from the Costco later showed the pair in the store, and security confirmed the phones were stolen, Pinto noted.
In the console of the car the officers found the heroin and suspected drug cash, which were both seized, he said.
They arrested Charles J. Chevalier, 26, and Stuvysant Royster, 35 on various drug and money laundering charges, as well as receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
Both were processed at police headquarters and then released pending Central Judicial Processing Court hearings in Hackensack, under New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act of 2017.
Detectives continued to investigate, along with their colleagues from Moonachie and security officers from Costco.