More than $17,000 worth of heroin was confiscated by authorities during a motor vehicle stop on West Broadway on Tuesday evening which led to the arrest of two men, according to the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office.
Luis Lozano-Santiago, 29, of Bronx, NY, a drug dealer, was circling around inside a Jeep Cherokee on Belmont Avenue and North 6th Street, at around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, when he struck a conversation with a Hispanic male, a drug dealer. As Jose S. Checo-Duran, 29, a Paterson resident, and Lozano-Santiago were speaking, they halted and began to exchange something that detectives quickly recognized as a drug transaction.
Belmont Avenue and North 6th Street are well-known drug spots that are monitored by authorities including the sheriff’s office which has surveillance setup in the area to suppress crime.
Detectives watched the two men as they moved out of the area. The New York license plate of the Jeep yielded blanks: it showed “not on file,” when the plate was run on the computer, according to Richard Berdnik. Officers pulled over the vehicle near West Broadway and Laurel Street, where the driver, Lozano-Santiago provided conflicting information about the vehicle’s history. A police dog was brought in to sniff the vehicle for illegal drugs: “The k9 indicated a positive alert for Narcotics and the vehicle was transported to Sheriff Headquarters, ” according to Berdnik.
“Detectives discovered two custom hidden hydraulic compartments in the vehicle commonly used by Drug Traffickers for concealment. In the compartments Detectives discovered a 2 ounce block of Pure uncut Heroin and additionally 6 thousand dollars was also discovered,” according to Berdnik. The vehicle was seized and is “subject to forfeiture.” The amount of heroin uncovered has a street value of $17,000.
Officers later learned that Checo-Duran was an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic who attempted to pass as Angel Rivera. Berdnik’s office say, immigration authorities have been contacted regarding Checo-Duran’s status. Both individuals have been slapped with various drug charges, and remain in Paterson Police Lockup.