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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Passaic Sheriff's Officers Nab Fugitive Wanted On Gun, Assault Charges

Julio Rivera
Julio Rivera Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Sheriff

PATERSON, N.J. -- A group of Passaic County sheriff's officers working overnight tracked down a fugitive wanted on gun and assault on police charges, authorities said.

It was just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday when the officers converged on El Fogon Restaurant on Union Avenue on a tip and found Julio Rivera, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

Rivera, 32, "eluded officers during a previous incident where a loaded firearm was recovered," the sheriff noted.

He was carrying four bundles of envelopes filled with heroin and nearly $200 cash when Saturday's arrest was made, he said.

A judge ordered Rivera held without bail in the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing.

He was charged with drug possession and distribution and hindering apprehension, along with the warrant charges of weapons possession, aggravated assault on a police officer and hindering apprehension.

Berdnik praised his officers for "actively pursuing a [fugitive] while most of us were sleeping."

He identified them as Sgts. Damian Priddy and Eric Fajardo, Cpl. Martin Sanabria and Officers Carlos Aymat, Alaa Matari and Jason Michaels.

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