It's rare that a burglary victim finds himself facing more serious
criminal charges than the burglar, but that appears to be the case in Garfield.
A burglary investigation was transformed into a
drug crime investigation after police arrested a man hiding in another man's basement.
According to northjersey.com, police arrived on the scene after getting
a call from a citizen about a burglary in progress. They arrived at a
house on Main Street and observed broken glass next to a side door, indicating
someone had broken into the residence.
Inside, they found a 28-year-old man hiding in the basement.
In the process of searching for the man, arresting him and searching for
any possible accomplices, police reported that they spotted a variety
of drug manufacturing equipment and drugs in the house.
The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Narcotics Task Force, along with
police officers and detectives, wound up seizing more than 200 grams of
cocaine, in addition to cash and drug-making equipment.
Law enforcement officials then issued an arrest warrant for the occupant
of the house's basement, a 27-year-old who was not home at the time
of the suspected burglar's arrest.
The warrant charges the occupant with several drug crimes: operating or
maintaining a controlled dangerous substance facility, possession with
intent to distribute more than five ounces of cocaine, money laundering
and possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs within 1,000 feet
of a school zone.
The suspected burglar also faces charges: burglary and theft, as well as
possession of burglary tools.
He's in Bergen County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
Resource: northjersey.com: "Burglary reports lead Garfield police to drug manufacturing
den": December 23, 2010