Hawthorne police who found 1,100 heroin folds in a stopped Jeep said the upstate New York driver told them that she and two men had come more than 135 miles to Paterson with a 2-year-old infant in the car "to get Spanish food."
Victoria Declemente, 29, of Stamford, NY “appeared very nervous” when she was stopped on Goffle Road near Mohawk Avenue for several violations, Detective Sgt. Matthew Hoogmoed said.
After claiming they’d driven all that way to Paterson for food, Declemente couldn’t remember exactly where, Hoogmoed said.
Eventually, she admitted they’d come to buy drugs, he said.
Officers noticed a brick of heroin sticking out of the pants pocket of passenger Stephen Donnelly, 26, also of Stamford, Hoogmoed said.
As the officers took Donnelly into custody, they saw Declemente’s other passenger, Anthony Bratvold, 41, of Staten Island try to stuff a small backpack beneath the child’s car seat, the sergeant said.
Officers removed him and the bag, which Hoogmoed said held 20 bricks of heroin. They also found several non-prescribed Xanax pills.
Officers arrested all three adults and sent them to the Passaic County Jail to await first appearances on drug and child endangerment charges.
They also contacted the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency to take custody of the youngsters. The 2011 Jeep Liberty was impounded.
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