Jared Thomas, 24, was apprehended by West New York Police Officer Timothy Letavish, who recognized him from a wanted poster released by the North Bergen Police Department, according to a statement from the West New York Police Department.
Around the same time, the North Bergen Police Department had received a signal from the suspect's cell phone, locating him in West New York, said North Bergen Lt. Frank Cannella.
The suspect was found to allegedly have 25 bags of marijuana, as well as prescription drugs with no prescription.
Thomas was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances, possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession within 1,000 feet of a school, possession within 500 feet of a Housing Authority building, and possession of prescription drugs without a prescription.
"We are a proactive department and are constantly on the lookout for criminal activity within our community and our neighboring communities," said West New York Police Director Oscar Fernandez. "I am very proud of our many vigilant police officers like Officer Letavish, whose quick instincts helped identify this individual."
Two weeks earlier, West New York police had finished a sting operation in which they arrested 32 individuals who were allegedly connected to drug dealing in the town (see story, www.westnewyorkreporter.com).
North Bergen Police Chief William Galvin said, "In the spirit of cooperation, it is great to see both departments working together. Together we continue to strive towards making both communities better, and it seems to be working."
A mom involved in a riot North Bergen police had been searching for Thomas as a result of an investigation into a Sept. 29 riot in the Meadow View Village area of North Bergen.
Thomas was the fifth of six people charged with rioting. The sixth person, Leissam Trujillo, 24, of North Bergen, who was recently at large after having been charged with aggravated assault, turned himself in last Wednesday morning, according to Cannella.
"We got no cooperation from anyone," said Cannella. "The only thing that was a common denominator was that they all said it was over a girl."
Cannella said that police pieced together that Thomas and another North Bergen resident, Andrew Lobel, 23, were allegedly confronted by Trujillo, who was allegedly armed with a machete, and his 16-year-old brother.
While at the scene, the juvenile's mother, Hortensia Castillo, 50, of North Bergen, allegedly supplied her son with an aluminum baseball bat, said Cannella. On Oct. 10, she was the first to be arrested.
Cannella said that the juvenile allegedly struck Lobel on the back, giving him a superficial injury. The juvenile was charged with rioting, aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon.
Cannella said that the juvenile's brother, Trujillo, allegedly struck Thomas with the machete.
"He got cut pretty good," said Cannella. He added that Thomas sought treatment at Hackensack University Medical Center.
"I am glad that we were able to apprehend Jared Thomas, although he was a victim in the incident as well," said Cannella.
Jonathan Rios, 18, of North Bergen, was also arrested as a result of the riot and charged with tampering with evidence after he allegedly discarded the machete.
"These kids watch too many episodes of the Sopranos," said Cannella.
The machete was never recovered. Castillo turned the baseball bat in to the North Bergen police.
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