By: Yuritza Arroyo
Passaic County authorities announce that Justin Ranko, 22 years old from Paterson, was arrested on March 7 by detectives from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office during Operation Helping Hand.
According to Paterson Police, on February 16, while Ranko was in the cellblock area of Paterson PD headquarters being processed for a charge of Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, he escaped police custody.
Police say as a result, he was charged as a fugitive with Third Degree Escape.
On March 7, while the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office was conducting Operation Helping Hand, Prosecutor’s Office Detectives arrested Ranko, who initially provided a false name.
According to officials, as a result, Ranko was charged with Third Degree Hindering Apprehension, Third Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and the Disorderly Persons Offense of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia for the offenses committed on March 7.
The crimes of Escape, Hindering Apprehension, and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in the third degree have a sentencing range of 3 to 5 years in prison, and the disorderly persons' offense of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia has a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in jail.
Officials say Ranko is currently in custody pending a motion for pretrial detention, which has been filed by the State and will be heard by a Superior Court Judge on a date and time to be determined by the Court.