>PREPARED BY DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DOLLINGER
On January 30, 2011 at approximately 11:00 pm Sergeant James Prosinski was on patrol in the area of Tindall Road when he stopped a vehicle for having improper tint on its windows. Patrolman Richard Fulham, who was also in the area, arrived as back up.
After approaching the vehicle and obtaining the driver’s credentials, Sergeant Prosinski returned to his vehicle to conduct a records check on the driver, identified as Jeremy Browne, age 19, from Spring Street in Red Bank. While Sergeant Prosinski was conducting the records check Patrolman Fulham remained at the vehicle and began speaking with Browne. At this point Browne turned the heat on in his vehicle and the odor of raw marijuana began to come from the interior.
Patrolman Fulham recognized the odor of the raw marijuana and requested a narcotics canine team respond to the scene. Patrolman Christopher Tuberion and his canine partner Mako of the Union Beach Police Department arrived on scene and conducted a search of the exterior of the vehicle. K-9 Mako hit on the trunk of the vehicle which indicated the presence of a narcotic substance.
After advising Browne about the canine’s indication, Sergeant Prosinski and Patrolman Fulham received written consent from Browne to conduct a physical search of his vehicle. While searching the trunk they located a black back pack which contained a jar filled with green vegetation which the officers recognized as Marijuana and another jar which contained pills believed to be Ecstasy and a generic brand of Xanax. Further search of the back pack revealed numerous short straws and rolling papers used to injest narcotics as well as a plastic bag which contained a white powdery substance believed to Cocaine. The officers also located $2421.00 in currency and written payment records.
Browne was arrested and transported to police headquarters. He was charged with Possession of Ecstasy, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of over 50 grams of Marijuana, Possession of Xanax, Possession with the intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school zone, and Possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle. He was held on $55,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.
>PREPARED BY DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DOLLINGER
On January 22, 2011 at approximately 2:15 am Patrolman Stephen Greenwood was on patrol when he observed a vehicle fail to stop at the stop sign at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and Kings Highway East.
After stopping the vehicle and approaching the driver, identified as Meghan Walsh, age 19, from Normandy Court in Middletown, Officer Greenwood detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the interior of the vehicle. Officer Greenwood advised Walsh of his observation and received consent to search the car.
Upon searching the vehicle, Patrolman Greenwood located loose marijuana and a pill bottle which contained Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride on the seat of the vehicle. Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride are prescription medications and Walsh did not have a lawful prescription from a doctor to possess the pills.
Walsh was placed under arrest and was transported to police headquarters. She was charged with Possession of a controlled dangerous substance and Possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. She was also issued a summons for the motor vehicle violation. She was processed and released on her own recognizance pending a court date.
Josh Marshall – TPM:
As noted earlier, we sent Eric Kleefeld down to the Elizabeth, New Jersey police department headquarters to get the police report on gubernatorial Chris Christie’s wrong-way collision with a motorcyclist back in 2002. And here’s Eric’s write-up on the report.
But just a few moments ago, another big development surfaced — an apparent lie about the accident Christie was caught in by New Jersey public television station NJN.
One of the things that made us most curious about this was that Christie’s negligence (he was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street) seemed so clear that we were wondering whether the accident didn’t lead to a lawsuit.
Earlier today, NJN asked Christie whether the accident had led to a lawsuit. And Christie said, point blank, no.
But a few hours after getting Christie’s flat denial, NJN found records of a 2004 suit, which appears to have been later settled out of court.
We’re going to keep on this and see what more we can find out. But this looks about as close as you can find to a straight up, caught red-handed lie by Christie.
New Jersey GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie’s spotty driving record is one thing. But what’s worse is that he may have violated clear Justice Department guidelines by pulling rank with cops on the scene.
Today we learned about a 2002 episode in which Christie hit a motorcyclist after making a wrong-turn that had him briefly going the wrong way down a one-way street in Elizabeth. The motorcyclist ended up in hospital, but Christie didn’t get so much as a ticket. And a police official told the Star Ledger that Christie “did identify himself as U.S. attorney.”
That would seem to contravene Justice Department guidelines on standards of conduct, which state:
Use of Title. With rare exceptions, employees engage in outside activities in their private rather than official capacities. Therefore, when engaging in outside activities in their private capacity, employees may not indicate or represent in any way that they are acting on behalf of the Department, or that they are acting in their official capacity.
But wait! According to the Star-Ledger, Christie was on his way to the swearing-in of the Union County prosecutor at the time of the accident. That means that he could at least make the case that the standards might not apply in this case, since he wasn’t engaging in an outside activity in a private capacity.
But that’s not the only dodgy driving Christie incident we’ve learned about lately. In 2005, Christie was cited for speeding and for driving in an unregistered, uninsured vehicle after being pulled over by cops in Lambertville. The local police director has said that, as in the Elizabeth case, Christie “identified himself” as a U.S. attorney.
And in this case, Christie almost certainly wasn’t acting in an official capacity. He’s said he was with his family and his deputy, Michele Brown, and that the group was on its way to a University of Delaware football game. That means the Justice Department guidelines almost certainly would apply.
A lawyer for the Justice Department offered support for that notion, telling TPMmuckraker in an email:
One of the first things you are trained on as part of your orientation is that you never ever ever ever attempt to avoid traffic citations or legal penalties by showing your credentials to an officer or by telling an officer who you are. You are shown videos of people attempting it, you sign a statement stating that you will not misuse credentials or position, and you are told in no uncertain terms that not only is such behavior a violation of Department policy – a Department Christie was employed with as a United States Attorney – it is also a serious ethical violation as an attorney.
The lawyer called Christie’s rank-pulling “inexcusable, because it is so clearly a violation of the public trust and his obligations as an attorney.”
And a former federal prosecutor agreed, saying via email “we were told quite explicitly that flashing creds to get out of a ticket was a serious misuse of authority.”
The Christie campaign hasn’t responded to multiple attempts over at TPMDC to contact them about the incident. We’ll keep you posted if we get a response.