Police Arrest Driver for Marijuana Possession Following High-speed Chase in Bergen County

Some drug arrests have been known to start with a DWI or drug DUI traffic stop. There’s usually some reason for the initial stop, but a driver speeding down the highway is not a hard mark for a drunk driving or traffic enforcement patrol. A recent news report from Bergen County, NJ, shows the lengths that local police officers will go to apprehend a suspected drunken driver. As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, my legal experience includes years of defending motorists charged with driving while intoxicated either by alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription medications.

According to reports earlier this month, law enforcement officers from a number of towns in the vicinity of Mahwah, NJ, joined in a high-speed chase that began when a 1992 Toyota Celica was observed speeding along Route 17 in Mahwah around 2:30am. At that time, Mahwah Police Officer Stacy Conley apparently attempted to block the vehicle by pulling his patrol car across the highway with lights on. However, the Celica avoided the officer by veering onto the shoulder and kept traveling southbound at a high rate of speed.

The Celica’s driver, 26-year-old Shahan Momin, was eventually being pursued by police vehicles from Bergen County, Paramus, Rutherford and Lyndhurst. Toward the end of the chase, Momim reportedly tried to pull of of 17 onto Route 3 but lost control of his vehicle, which rolled several times ending up in an opposing lane of the roadway.

Police quickly swarmed the suspect’s vehicle taking Momim into custody by Mahwah police officers. Momin, a New York resident, was transported by Lyndhurst EMS to Hackensack University Medical Center, where police said he was treated and admitted for serious back and arm fractures.

A subsequent search of the man’s car turned up a1.5 pounds of marijuana as well as various pieces of pot paraphernalia in the trunk. During his hospital stay, Momim was given a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test which revealed he was legally intoxicated. He was also charged with operating a vehicle without insurance.

From the search, police added charges of pot possession with the intent to distribute. The man was also hit with charges of eluding police, DWI, speeding, unsafe lane change, failure to yield to emergency vehicles, reckless driving, having a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle, and being uninsured.

Mad chase leads to crash, DWI, lots of pot, CliffViewPilot.com, June 6, 2010