On Monday, February 15, 2021, at approximately 2:43 am Paramus Officer Michael Mordaga observed a 2007 Buick Lacrosse, driving at a high rate of speed on Route 17 south. Mordaga stopped the vehicle near the entrance to the Garden State Parkway southbound. A computer check revealed that the car was not registered. When Mordaga approached the vehicle he immediately determined that the suspects had been smoking marijuana inside of the car. The driver, identified as Justin Hawkins, also possessed a suspended driver’s license. Paramus Officers William Stallone, Kevin Osback, Matthew Mullick and Clario Sampson arrived as back-up officers. After they arrived, Officer Mordaga searched the vehicle and located a burnt marijuana cigarette, a loaded Glock 9mm handgun numerous bags of marijuana , numerous new empty bags used to package drugs, , and a bottle containing 58 unidentified pills.
The two suspects were placed under arrest for the gun and drugs and transported to Paramus Police Headquarters where they were booked and processed. Both were remanded to Bergen County Jail pending a bail hearing. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Both subjects were arrested and charged on February 15, 2021 with:
Unlawful possession of a handgun 2C: 39-5
Unlawful possession of marijuana 2C: 35-10Possession of CDS with Intent to Distribute 2C:35-5