A female driver and her male passenger were arrested on Wednesday afternoon and multiple narcotics charges were filed against them by Essex County sheriff's officers.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that Patrol Division officers were conducting a pedestrian safety operation in Branch Brook Park yesterday afternoon when a 2015 Infiniti sedan screeched to a halt at the officer's checkpoint.
"The vehicle was then put in reverse and attempted to exit the scene at a high rate of speed," Sheriff Fontoura said. "A motor vehicle stop was soon executed and our officers noticed the pungent odor of burnt marijuana emanate from the car."
When it was found that the vehicle's operator, Maria Salazar, 24 of Newark, was driving with a suspended license, she and her passenger, Marcelo Carpio, 26 of Belleville, were ordered out of the car.
"Our officers observed one oxycodone tablet on the seat where Carpio was sitting and the Infiniti was searched," Fontoura noted. "An additional 167 oxycodone tablets and five heroin-filled envelops, stamped 'Purple Pizza' in purple ink, were discovered in a backpack belonging to Salazar along with 34 grams of marijuana and $793."
Salazar was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, three counts of possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Parkview Elementary School.
Salazar was also found to be the subject of an open warrant issued by the Newark municipal court and she was issued a motor vehicle summonses for having tinted windows, careless driving and having CDS in a motor vehicle.
Carpio was charged with one count of possession of CDS.
Salazar and Carpio were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.