YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An ex-con and his brother took off on foot but were chased down by Mahwah police a short time later after being caught behind a Route 17 hotel with heroin around 2 o’clock this morning , Chief James Batelli said.
Officer David Vega approached the Nissan Pathfinder and asked the driver and passenger to step out, Batelli said.
While doing so, Vega spotted several decks of heroin inside the vehicle, the chief said.
Claiming he had no identification, the driver gave Vega a bogus name, the chief said.
He then signaled his brother, and both bolted in opposite directions, leaving two companions in the back seat, Batelli said.
Vega and arriving Sgt. Harry Hunt chased one of them near the banks of the Ramapo River. Officer Rob Birney grabbed the other, who Batelli said was trying to run through a Route 17 truck stop.
Officers Chris Fasulo and Renee Ali secured the other two back at the scene.
“All the individuals in the vehicle initially gave the officers false information to identify themselves,” Batelli said. “It was not u ntil they were brought to headquarters that their real identity was learned.”
The driver, 33-year-old Nicholas Stokes of Oak Ridge, was charged with hindering, eluding and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police also found a warrant for his arrest out of Livingston, Batelli said.
Records show Stokes ( top, right ) served eight years in state prison for gas station robbery.
Also charged was his brother, William Stokes, 32 ( top, left ), for possession of heroin, suboxone and a hypodermic needle, as well as eluding and hindering.
A warrant for him was found out of Morris County, Batelli said.
The Stokes brothers were sent to the Essex and Morris county jails, respectively.
Meanwhile, rear-set passenger Christine Engelhardt, 22 (middle) — who listed addresses in Stockholm, NJ and Pompano Beach, Fla. — was released without bail pending a court hearing on charges of hindering of of possession of heroin and a hypodermic needle.
Also released was her fellow rear-seat passenger, 26-year-old Jimmy Elmezaen, who, like the others, was charged with hindering for providing a bogus name.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy MAHWAH PD
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