Drug charges continue to play a significant role in traffic stops throughout New Jersey. A 56-year-old driver from Lanoka Harbor and a 39-year-old passenger from Forked River were pulled over by a local patrolman in Lacey Township last month at about 11:00 p.m. Authorities claim the vehicle was stopped for “careless driving,” though no description was offered what actions the patrolman actually observed that lead him to take action. Drug charges soon followed.

During the traffic stop, police allegedly discovered that the driver possessed a “controlled dangerous substance” as well as drug paraphernalia. The descriptions of the specific drug paraphernalia were not provided in the report.

In addition to the vehicle’s driver, the passenger was also searched, though the grounds for doing so were not described. Police claim the passenger had 59 “folds” of heroin, along with drug paraphernalia. Folds are the street name for packets that drugs, such as heroin, are packaged in for sale. After further investigation, police found out that the passenger was wanted for an outstanding arrest warrant from Monmouth County; the nature of the warrant was not described.

The driver was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as several purported traffic violations which were not detailed. The passenger was held on the warrant with bail set at $25,000. There was no indication as to whether additional charges were filed against him resulting from the traffic.

While drug charges are serious and require an individualized focus for each individual arrested, it is important to reiterate the obvious. These men have only been charged, which does not mean that one or the other is automatically guilty. That determination is reserved for a court of law.

Source: The Asbury Park Press, “Lacey men face drug charges,” Bob Vosseller, Sept. 25, 2011