Noontime temperatures in Paterson were way too high for a man to be pulling a ski mask over his face, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said.
Jeziel Cabral Rodriguez, 32, began tipping away as detectives from his fugitive squad approached a group gathered in front of a Park Avenue grocery store, the sheriff said.
Then he took off on foot.
Rodriguez darted down a driveway on nearby Carroll Street, then hopped into a parked Chevy Malibu -- where the detectives found him, Berdnik said.
He was carrying dozens of bags of oxycodone, cocaine and pot, as well as $487 in suspected drug-dealing proceeds, the sheriff said.
That wasn’t all.
It turned out Rodriguez has a criminal history that includes arrests for aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, resisting arrest and weapons offenses, Berdnik said. He was also wanted out of Ohio and was considered armed and dangerous.
The detectives took him into custody and seized the Chevy, which the sheriff said was registered to Rodriguez.
The investigators secured a search warrant for the sedan, then found a 9mm BERSA handgun – loaded with 13 rounds -- that had been reported stolen out of Philadelphia, along with additional ammo and drug packaging materials, Berdnik said.
They charged Rodriguez with drug and weapons offenses, including possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, obstruction and being a fugitive from justice.
Rodriguez remained held in the Passaic County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.
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