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Mahwah traffic stop yields stolen handgun, pot, cash

Photo Credit: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Mahwah police said they found a stolen 9mm handgun and a small amount of marijuana during a Route 287 traffic stop in the car of a purported Bloods gang member from Pennsylvania who they said was wanted on a warrant out of Mount Olive.

Terence Bethea, 33, of Allentown gave a different account of his travels from his passenger, a Brooklyn woman, after Officer Eric Larsen stopped his Nissan Mini for an obstructed vision violation just after noon today, Police Chief James Batelli said.

A computer check showed that the vehicle had fictitious plates and wasn’t unregistered, the chief said.

After obtaining written consent to search the vehicle, Larsen said he was told by Bethea that the Ruger handgun was in the center console.

“The magazine was also located on a shelf under the steering wheel,” Batelli said.

A computer check showed that the weapon was reported stolen from a residence in Allentown, the chief said.

The officer also found a small amount of pot during the search, he said.

Mahwah police K-9 Dome alerted officers to an area of the vehicle in the front dashboard where Batelli said an undisclosed amount of cash was found.

The money, along with the gun, magazine and marijuana, were all seized, he said.

Mahwah police charged Bethea with:

  • Unlawful possession of a weapon;
  • Receiving stolen property;
  • Possession of marijuana;
  • Motor vehicle-violations.

He was then turned over to Mount Olive authorities, Batelli said.

His passenger was released, the chief said.


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