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Newly-Trained Mahwah K-9 Sniffs Out Drugs, $9,000 Cash In Route 17 Stop

Lefty Rosario Batista
Lefty Rosario Batista Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. – A Mahwah police K-9 fresh out of training school helped his handler seize Oxycodone and $9,000 in suspected drug proceeds during a Route 17 stop, authorities said.

After stopping a four-door Chrysler for several motor vehicle violations, Officer Rob Rapp noticed “marijuana remnants” and smelled pot from inside it, Police Chief James Batelli said Friday.

Rapp obtained consent to search the car from the driver, Lefty Rosario Batista of Newark, and put K-9 Remco to work, he said.

The dog immediately alerted Rapp “to specific areas within the vehicle,” the chief said.

Rapp found the Oxy in the center console, as well as “bundles of money packaged in a manner consistent with narcotics distribution” totaling $9,000, in the vehicle, Batelli said.

Batista was released pending a Nov. 18 hearing and the money was seized for forfeiture proceedings, the chief said.

“Remco was recently certified in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol practices and through Morris County Police Academy program,” Batelli said proudly.

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