YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An upstate New York man once tied to a major drug operation was being held on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail after Palisades Interstate Parkway police said they found him carrying 41 pounds of pot while parked illegally outside a gas station convenience store.
Officers Gregory Kimbro, Jr and Robert Littlejohn were on patrol when they spotted the unoccupied black Jeep outside the Sunoco on the northbound side of the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Englewood Cliffs around 9:40 last night.
They looked inside to see whether there was anyone in the Jeep who could move the vehicle but found it unoccupied, PIPP Police Chief Michael Coppola said this morning.
They also noticed a strong smell of raw marijuana coming through a rear window, he said.
Christopher Zawodny-Brownell reeked of burnt pot and appeared high when he returned to the Jeep, Coppola said.
He told the officers he was returning home to Rensselaer, N.Y., after spending Memorial Day weekend in New York City, the chief said.
They searched him, found rolling papers and took him into custody for being under the influence of drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia, Coppola said.
They also impounded the vehicle and got a warrant after Zawodny-Brownell, 28, denied consent to search it, he said.
A subsequent search turned up two large duffel bags holding the 41 pounds of pot — worth nearly $200,000 on the street — in three dozen individually vacuumed-sealed bags, Coppola said.
Also found was a book bag filled with $40,526 in cash and a cannister of pepper spray in the center console, he said.
Zawodny-Brownell is charged with possession of the marijuana with the intent to sell it, weapons possession (for the pepper spray) and being under the influence of drugs, among other counts.
He’s due for a first court appearance tomorrow.
Zawodny-Brownell was charged seven years ago in connection with a drug operation police busted in the tiny upstate New York town of Bethlehem, records show.
Seized at the time was heroin, cocaine, marijuana, Ecstasy and pills, along with $4,700 in cash, digital scales and a machete, a shotgun, ammunition, body armor and a police scanner.
Local police investigated after a resident complained that one of the two men arrested irritated neighbors by zipping around on a motor scooter.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy PALISADES INTERSTATE PARKWAY PD
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