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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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Sad twist finds Hillsdale druggist’s son in heroin, prescription trouble

Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: His strapping, immensely popular big brother died of an overdose four years ago, making Dan Kessel’s freefall all the more painful for those who care about the 25-year-old Hillsdale man, arrested this week on charges of carrying several hundred dollars worth of heroin and having a stash of oxycontin, Xanax and other medications that detectives said he got with forged prescriptions.

Daniel P. Kessel (Mugshot courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF)

“It’s a sad twist of irony,” someone who knows him told CLIFFVIEW PILOT shortly after the arrest.

Daniel Kessel already was on probation for prescription forgery in Teaneck. He was wanted on a warrant when a Hillsdale police officer spotted him in a borough park on Thursday — what would have been his brother Derick’s 32nd birthday.

Officials said she and another officer found him carrying 80 small packets of heroin that amounted to an ounce or so of the drug, as well as more than 150 pills of Oxycodone and Xanax and a bag of marijuana.

Although Kessel had been in scrapes before, it was the first time police pinched him for carrying any weight — while he was already on probation. A judge, in turn, ordered him held on $50,000 bail at the Bergen County Jail.

Police said they turned up a prescription pad, the same as Teaneck police did more than a year ago. Although Kessel’s father is a pharmacist — another sad twist to the tale — the pad apparently didn’t belong to him. It’s believed to have been stolen out of New York City.

“Kessel, sometimes impersonating a doctor, would authorize prescription refills and scripts as a way to obtain more pills,” Police Chief Chip Stalter said.

A search of the Hopkins Street home where Kessel has lived with his parents and sister since he was 3 years old a lso turned up drug paraphernalia and a single hollow-point bullet, which is illegal in New Jersey, that police said he had stashed in his room. The high-purity heroin may have come from Paterson, law enforcement sources speculated.

The list of offenses is huge: two dozen criminal offenses, including 20 drug violations, forgery, wrongful impersonation and possession of the pad and bullet.

“Instead of putting legitimate energy into something positive, he uses his street smarts and family knowledge to see the profit margins elsewhere,” someone who knows him told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “It’s a sad twist of irony.”






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