As baby killer Buckel was caught, cops busted four for drugs
Former escapee Arthur Buckel is back behind bars after being captured on Monday in Ocean County, but the manhunt that tracked him down also caused some trouble for four other New Jersey residents.
The Asbury Park Press reported that a search of a smoky vehicle interior at a Garden State Parkway choke point in Lacey Township resulted in the arrests of the car's occupants on drug charges, as officers recovered 10 grams of marijuana and a small quantity of ecstasy.
Driver Adam Lutchman, 26, of Somerset is charged with possession of marijuana, ecstasy and drug paraphernalia. His three passengers, 25-year-old Nicholas Netta of New Brunswick and 23-year-old Kevin Behan and 26-year-old Alexander Swartz, both of Milltown, are charged with ecstasy and paraphernalia possession according to the newspaper.
Netta was booked into Ocean County Jail on an outstanding warrant, while Behan, Lutchman and Swartz were all released.
As for Buckel, New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan said in a statement that the recaptured prisoner was to be evaluated by a medical team and placed in a secure facility.
A search of the DOC's inmate website indicated Buckel was incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, described as "the state's only completely maximum security institution." DOC spokesman Syed Hassan, citing department policy, would not divulge any pending court dates for Buckel and said the investigation is ongoing.
Buckel escaped from Ancora, the full minimum security satellite unit of Bayside State Prison in Hammonton, on Tuesday, May 3. He made his way to Barnegat in a stolen pickup truck, and was spotted there at a CVS store.
After Buckel escaped a manhunt involving over 100 members of law enforcement, Lacey Township Police said he made an arrangement to surrender to State Police at the Forked River service area on Sunday night. He proceeded to flee that location, but was captured around noon on Monday just north of the service area.
Dan Alexander contributed to this report.
Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.