ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. – A Lodi driver and her Hackensack passenger in a sedan reeking of pot were arrested by Rochelle Park police – her for an outstanding warrant and him for having more than a dozen small bags of marijuana for sale, authorities said Monday.
Several of five adult occupants weren’t wearing seat belts when the 2009 Mercedes crossed the double yellow lines on East Passaic Street in front of Officer Ryan Burke’s patrol car on Easter Sunday, Lt. Dean Pinto said.
Officer Nicholas Mercoun joined Burke, who smelled raw pot coming from the car, Pinto said.
The driver, 21-year-old Christel J. Tiongco, identified herself as “Nicole Ospina” and claimed to not have her license with her, the lieutenant said. Both the name and a date of birth she gave the officers were false, he said.
After getting everyone out of the car, the officers found Tiongco’s driver’s license and a one-hitter ceramic pipe filled with residue that smelled of pot, Pinto said.
It turned out she was wanted by Paramus police on theft by deception charges, he said.
Smelling pot on her clothing, the officers told Tiongco they were summoning a female officer to search her – at which point she pulled out a sandwich bag filled with 13 small bags of marijuana, Pinto said.
These belonged to a passenger, repeat offender Bilal M. Diggs-Void, he said Tiongco told them.
Advised of his rights, Diggs-Void, 20, of Hackensack, “admitted to the marijuana being his” and was arrested along with Tiongco, the lieutenant said.
Borough police turned Tiongco over to their Paramus colleagues, he said.
She remained in the Bergen County Jail early Monday pending a hearing, as did Diggs-Void.
A one-time special needs student, Diggs-Void has been charged with assaulting police and robbery, among other offenses -- and was arrested seven times in seven months last year, records show.
“These arrests wrapped up a very busy weekend during which 7 adults were arrested as a result of two separate domestic violence incidents, two narcotics arrests and a theft of township property,” Police Chief Robert Flannelly said.
“2017 continues to be one of the busiest years in recent history for this department,” the chief said.
A knife-wielding Clifton man held a woman with her child at in a Rochelle Park hotel room until police rescued them, authorities said.
A Union County man snatched up three dozen orange traffic cones and a police barricade before Rochelle Park police said they stopped his pickup truck.
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