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Mahwah PD: Upstate NY Couple Had $530,000 Drug Cash In Route 17 Hotel Room

Daniel Martel, Tracey Harris
Daniel Martel, Tracey Harris Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

A Hudson Valley couple had $530,000 in suspected drug money in their Route 17 hotel room, along with some heroin and illegal prescription pills, said Mahwah police who seized the cash and drugs while arresting them.

Alerted by a concerned citizen to a disoriented couple, Sgt. Michael Blondin and Officer William Hunt found 34-year-old Daniel Martel of Otisville and Tracey Harris, 30, of Bloomingburg in a car at a southbound fast food restaurant, Police Chief James Batelli said.

A search of their car turned up heroin, hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia -- along with burglary tools and valuables taken during several recent area car break-ins, the chief said.

"During conversations with the two there were a number of inconsistencies in their story," Batelli said.

So detectives obtained a search warrant for their hotel room, he said.

They ended up finding a duffel bag with the cash "wrapped in a manner that would be consistent with drug trafficking," the chief said.

They also found more heroin and stolen goods, along with Xanax, Lorazepam and Suboxone, he said.

The cash was seized for forfeiture and the pair was arrested.

Both were sent to the Bergen County Jail -- only to be released hours later by a judge under New Jersey's 2017 bail reform law.

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