A rear-view mirror hanging off a new SUV drew the attention of a Mahwah police detective who ended up busting a Rockland dealer and a companion with meth and an assortment of other drugs for sale at a local hotel, authorities said.
Before they were done, police had seized meth, cocaine, methadone, clonazepam, hypodermic needles and packaging materials, Police Chief Stephen Jaffe said.
Detective Christopher Fasulo had gone to the hotel near the New York State border Monday night to check out a report of a stolen vehicle, Jaffe said.
Fasulo noticed the rearview mirror hanging off the housing of a 2020 Dodge Durango as Yisroel Lieberman, 24, of Monsey got in and drove it out of the parking lot, Jaffe said.
A mirror in that condition “can be an indication of a possible stolen vehicle,” the chief explained. “Vehicle thieves will attempt to disable the GPS transponder, [which] is often contained within the rear-view mirror.”
After spotting other equipment violations, Fasulo stopped the Durango, he said.
Lieberman, whose most recent address is in Toms River, had a hypodermic needle in the driver’s door handle, Jaffe said, adding that a computer check also showed his driving privileges suspended in both New Jersey and New York.
A search turned up a “a large quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine, a methamphetamine smoking pipe and two additional hypodermic needles,” the chief said.
Lieberman told the detective that he was staying at the hotel with a female friend and had more drugs in the room, Jaffe said.
Fasulo summoned backups and was joined by Detective Lt. Kevin Hebert, Detective Eric Larsen, K-9 Officer Robert Rapp and Officer Frank Federico.
In the room they found Natalie Shein, 29, of Brooklyn, along with drugs in plain view, the chief said.
Fasulo obtained a warrant, after which police found a trove of drugs, he said.
Jaffe didn’t identify the amounts other than to put the meth at between a half ounce and five ounces, which produced the most serious charge of second-degree drug possession, among other counts against both.
Shein, who has an undisclosed underlying medical condition, was given an April 9 first appearance date in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack before she was released under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law, the chief said.
Lieberman remained held Tuesday in the Bergen County Jail pending his first appearance.
ALSO SEE: Two Mahwah police officers found a pair of North Carolina men carrying four guns, dozens of rounds of ammunition and more during a Route 287 stop, authorities said.
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