ELIZABETH —An Irvington man has been sentenced to 13 years in state prison for drug charges and attempting to elude police three times in a four-month period.

Ron Sanders, 35, will be ineligible for parole for the first six years of his sentence, according to a statement from acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park. The incidents leading to the conviction began in 2012, Park said.

Authorities say that on June 22, 2012 an Elizabeth police officer was on routine patrol at 10:35 p.m. when he tried to make a motor vehicle stop on Cross Street in Elizabeth due to a motor vehicle violation. When the officer activated the lights and sirens on his police car, the driver, later identified as Sanders, "immediately accelerated and refused to stop before a brief vehicle pursuit resulted in his arrest," Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez said in a statement.

During the pursuit, authorities say Sanders tossed a small quantity of heroin out of his car window. The drugs and paraphernalia were later recovered from the scene by police, the prosecutor's office said.

On Nov. 14 of that same year, the prosecutor says Sanders was involved in another incident that began at 12:45 p.m., when Elizabeth police observed Sanders conduct a suspected drug deal from his car on North Broad Street. A motor vehicle pursuit was unsuccessful, but police were able to search the vehicle of the other individual involved in the suspected drug transaction with Sanders. During the investigation, 70 envelopes of cocaine and drug paraphernalia were found in the car, authorities said.

The third incident took place five days later, the prosecutor said, on Nov. 19, when Elizabeth police officers spotted Sanders and attempted to apprehend him in the area of Newark Avenue and Clinton Place.

"Yet upon their arrival, Sanders suddenly accelerated into an officer’s patrol vehicle, causing the vehicle door to strike the officer in the chest, then drove onto a sidewalk, struck a tree, and sped away," the prosecutor's office said.

Police followed Sanders to Newark but had to end the pursuit. Later that evening, Sanders was arrested on the front steps of a North Broad Street home in Elizabeth while in possession of several glass vials of cocaine. When police searched his home, they found 630 envelopes containing heroin, some of which had the same stamp as the heroin that was recovered the previous week, the prosecutor's office said.

In February of this year, Sanders pleaded guilty to second degree eluding and third degree drug offenses.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at toniann.antonelli@townsquaremedia.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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