Palisades Interstate Parkway Police conducting a seatbelt checkpoint on the New Jersey section of the parkway say they discovered nearly a pound of marijuana in a car that was stopped because of a problem with a license plate.
A Bronx man and an Orange County man were charged with drug possession with intent to distribute in the 3:20 p.m. incident on Thursday in Fort Lee, according to Lt. Michael J. Coppola. The men, Christopher Bravo, 23, of Pratt Avenue in the Bronx and Vernon Moreland, 28, of Route 94 in New Windsor, face a court hearing on April 6.
Coppola said PIP officers Frankie Garrett, Lee Frazzano, and Jeffrey Kimbro were conducting a seatbelt law enforcement checkpoint on the parkway when they stopped a 2001 Jeep Cherokee because of an obstructed rear license plate. As Garrett approached the car he could smell a strong odor of marijuana.
Frazzano searched the passenger, Moreland, who was then arrested for marijuana possession. Coppola said Moreland also had a digital scale.
Coppola said a search of the car led to the discovery of a large bag of raw marijuana in a food take-out container, with more marijuana found in baby food jars in the driver's door. Another large bag of raw marijuana was found in a backpack.
The total of the marijuana found was just under one pound, Coppola said.
Bravo and Moreland were also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.