YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Burlington County man who Fort Lee police said was driving on the shoulder past backed-up traffic to the George Washington Bridge claimed he was a New York City police officer – and had a loaded gun, ammo, handcuffs and fake police ID cards in his car, authorities said this morning.
Detective Philip Ross stopped the 2008 Jeep Wrangler “on the right shoulder passing vehicles stopped in heavy traffic” around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, Capt. Stanley Zon said.
The driver, 44-year-old George Santos of Willingboro, “immediately identified himself as a police officer with the New York City Sanitation police department,” and showed Ross a police shield and ID card that expired April 30, Zon said.
A “very nervous” Santos could explain why he hadn’t replaced the card, the captain said.
What’s more, he said, Santos wasn’t looking into the camera in the card’s photo.
Ross then began asking NYPD-related questions that Santos couldn’t answer correctly, Zon said.
Once backup officers arrived, they ordered Santos ot of the Jeep, obtained his consent to search the vehicle and turned up a fully loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, along with bogus ID cards, and another magazine for the weapon, the captain said. A total fo 24 rounds were found, he said.
Santos posted $7,500 bail and was released pending a hearing on charges of impersonating a police officer and illegal possession of a hadngun, a high-capacity magazine, handcuffs and false government documents. He also was issued summonses for improper passing and driving an unregistered vehicle.
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