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Bergen County Burglary Case Turns Into Drug Investigation

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

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