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More than 65 pounds of pot follow Mahwah reckless driving stop

Photo Credit: Mahwah PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An unlicensed, out-of-state driver who had open bottles of booze on the front seat when his rental car was stopped by Mahwah police for recklessly cutting off other motorists on Route 17 had 65½ pounds of pot in the trunk, authorities said today.

Officer David Vega pulled over the 2013 Nissan Maxima on the northbound side of the highway last night, spoke with the driver and determined he was “under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance,” Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said.

Vega also spotted “several open alcohol containers in the front compartment of the vehicle,” Batelli said.

The driver, 33-year-old Jawara G. Mcintosh, and his passenger, Carlotta Z. Leslie, 23, both of Dorchester, Mass., gave conflicting accounts of where they’d come from and where they were headed, the chief said.

Officers Richard Albro and Timothy Letavish soon joined Vega. They obtained Mcintosh’s consent to search the vehicle, and found two large pieces of luggage in the trunk that reeked of pot, Batelli said.

The officers found two bundles of marijuana inside one and a third in the other, the chief said. One was shrink-wrapped, he said, and the other two wrapped in duct tape.

Mcintosh and Leslie “denied any knowledge that the marijuana in the vehicle,” Batelli said.

Both were arrested on charges of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute the drug. Mcintosh also was charged with two counts of DUI, driving with a suspended license, improper passing and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

They were being held on $200,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail.

Batelli said both have criminal records. Mcintosh “had been arrested for disorderly persons offense, assault, resisting arrest, and promoting prostitution,” while Leslie “had been arrested for resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, assault and prostitution.”


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