Justin Ranko, a 22-year-old resident of Paterson, was arrested on Monday, during Operation Helping Hand conducted by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ranko had previously escaped police custody on February 16, 2023, while being processed for a charge of Possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the cellblock area of Paterson PD headquarters. He was subsequently charged with third degree escape as a fugitive.
During the operation on March 7, Prosecutor’s Office Detectives arrested Ranko, who had provided a false name. He was charged with third degree hindering apprehension, third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and the disorderly persons offense of possession of drug paraphernalia for offenses committed on the same day.
Ranko faces serious charges, as the crimes of escape, hindering apprehension, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the third degree carry a sentencing range of 3 to 5 years in prison. The disorderly persons offense of possession of drug paraphernalia carries a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in jail. Ranko remains in custody pending a motion for pretrial detention.