NJ police say car’s James Bond secret compartment found with drugs
It wasn’t an oil slick or smoke dispenser. The hubcaps didn’t slash tires, no twin-mounted machine guns. No bulletproof shield and no ejector seat.
But a secret compartment that police say was built into a Bronx man’s vehicle was found in a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike on Tuesday.
Carlos Jose Cruz-Pena was pulled over about 6:40 p.m on the southbound lanes in Teaneck and authorities say an officer discovered a “hidden compartment” when he looked beneath the car.
The driver appeared “visibly nervous” according to law enforcement which led to closer scrutiny. The Bergen County Police press release doesn’t indicate what make or model vehicle this was. Aren’t we all hoping for an Aston Martin DB5?
The officer explained,
“I noticed that the exhaust was lowered, the muffler was removed and aftermarket sheet metal was affixed between the rails of the exhaust tunnel.”
Authorities say once Cruz-Pena, who police say told them he worked for a pharmacy, consented to a search, they found that secret compartment beneath the car was accessible through the center console next to the driver’s seat and could be raised or lowered controlled electronically by being rigged up to a window motor.
Inside the compartment police say they found 409 Xanax pills and 49 oxycodone pills of varying milligrams. The 33-year-old driver was charged with second-degree possession with the intent to distribute prescription drugs and third-degree possession with intent to distribute schedule IV drugs according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella.
Having James Bond-type devices on cars in the New Jersey-NYC area is nothing new. Though usually we hear about it to evade tolls, like the guy driving a Dodge Durango in April who police say was caught using a blackout device that would lower a covering to conceal his license plate with the push of a button.
What I don’t understand about people who get caught with drugs, guns or other illegal items in their vehicles through a traffic stop is why they’re speeding to begin with? If you know what you have in the car is highly illegal, how are you doing anything to invite police scrutiny?
Then again what do I know about being a good criminal? Not only does my car not have an oil slick button, secret compartment or ejector seat, I can’t even keep my glove box from falling open.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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