Cops Say Security Officer had Drugs in Jacket!

Cops Say Security Officer had Drugs in Jacket!
Posted by FoM on February 06, 1999 at 05:56:08 PT

ENGLEWOOD Police looking to arrest a suspected thief got a surprise Thursday when they found him riding shotgun with a New York City school security officer.They were even more stunned when officers checked inside the security officer's jacket -- adorned with an NYPD patch and badge -- and found a bag of cocaine with a sniff straw.
Right away, the attention shifted from the alleged small-time thief to the driver, Gil Gomez, 38, who detectives say had the makings of a significant drug operation at his Prospect Street home."We weren't exactly aware this facility existed," said Detective Sgt. William Hollenfer. "I had never seen this guy before in my life. This was kind of a lucky hit for us."Gomez is not a sworn police officer and is not authorized to carry a gun, said NYPD Detective George Nagy. He is part of a unit that patrols schools at night and has limited arrest powers, Nagy said. The police department began overseeing school safety officers last year, but Nagy did not know how long Gomez had been working as a school safety officer.Gomez was suspended without pay pending an internal affairs review.Englewood police got a tip Thursday afternoon that 19-year-old Alex Lora had just left an Englewood home in a black Chevrolet Blazer, Hollenfer said. Lora was wanted in connection with a burglary in Tenafly.Officers spotted the Blazer and pulled it over at Tenafly Road and Palisade Avenue. Lora tried to run, but a detective grabbed him before he could get anywhere, Hollenfer said."He knew he was wanted and he knew he was caught, so he made a run for it," Hollenfer said of Lora, who has been charged with possession of stolen property and cocaine possession.Officers say drugs were in plain view inside the car, including two $1 bills rolled up like straws used to ingest cocaine. Noticing the NYPD jacket in the back seat, detectives asked Gomez if he was a cop. He explained his school security officer's job to the officers, who then discovered the drugs tucked inside the jacket, Hollenfer said.Back at police headquarters, detectives questioned Gomez some more and got Gomez's permission to search his house. "We asked him if he was dealing, and he said that [the cocaine] was just for personal use," Hollenfer recalled.At the Prospect Street house, detectives found thousands of small plastic bags -- the kind typically used to package small drugs for street sales, Hollenfer said. And they discovered a small scale of the type often used to weigh drugs for distribution.Investigators say they also found a bag of marijuana and rolling papers, as well as a small amount of crack cocaine. The crack rock had not yet been broken down into smaller pieces, which are usually sold on the street, authorities said.Though only a relatively small amount of drugs was seized, Hollenfer said the house had all the trappings of a sizable dealing operation."We caught him on a bad day," he said. "We found thousands of bags for packaging, so it led us to believe this wasn't a one-time thing."Gomez lives with his wife and three children, Hollenfer said. He and his wife, Pascuala Rosario, 26, were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of crack with intent to distribute in a school zone. The house is near St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic School.Gomez faces two more counts of cocaine possession for the drugs found inside his car. His bail was set at $12,500 and he was being held in the Bergen County Jail on Friday. Rosario was released on her own recognizance to care for the children, Hollenfer said.
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