WAYNE, N.J. -- Another distracted driver stop led to larger charges when a Passaic County sheriff's detective found a passenger in Wayne carrying 50 folds of heroin and packaging materials used to distribute the drug, authorities said Sunday.
PCSO Detective Joseph Royce was on special assignment Saturday afternoon when he stopped a blue Honda Accord on southbound Route 23 near Packanack Lake Road because the driver wasn't wearing a seatbeat, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.
Berdnik's department received the area's largest grant out of hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout the state -- $40,000 -- for stepped-up policing of distracted driving laws during the month of April in an effort to curb fatal crashes.
"By enforcing the traffic laws, other crimes are also enforced at the same time," the sheriff noted.
After stopping the Accord on Saturday, Royce smelled marijuana, the sheriff said.
After the detective ordered him out of the vehicle, 29-year-old Francisco Rodriguez of Paterson admitted he'd smoked pot earlier, Berdnik said.
A search of the car turned up the heroin, $782 in suspected drug proceeds and "thousands of empty glassines, stamps, stamp pads and rubber bands, which are all commonly used to package and distribute heroin," he said.
Rodriguez was charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of a school (Ryerson Elementary School) and released pending a court date.