RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – A California man had 26 pounds of heroin worth more than $1 million stashed in a secret compartment of a minivan parked in a Ridgefield Park hotel lot, authorities said Monday.
Officer Steven Fernandez spotted the Saturn – with no visible registration or license plates – outside the Hampton Inn on Route 46 around 3 p.m. Sunday, Lt. Joseph Rella said.
Looking close, he spotted “an aftermarket trap under the vehicle,” he said.
Village police organized a surveillance details, obtained a search warrant and impounded the vehicle, Rella said.
Besides the heroin, Detective Nicholas Triano and Officer Brad Gilmore found 500 opiate pills, the lieutenant said.
Moments later, the driver -- Rudolfo M. Mendez-Hernandez, 26, of La Quinta, CA – tried to flee in a taxi cab, Rella said.
Officers posted at the hotel grabbed him, he said.
A judge ordered Mendez-Hernandez held without bail in the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Monday, pending a bail hearing.
He’s charged with manufacturing/distributing heroin, among other drug-related counts.