New York men accused of cocaine possession after North Huntingdon traffic stop
Two men from Bronx, N.Y., are being held without bail in Westmoreland County after North Huntingdon officers with the help of a police dog over the weekend discovered eight packages of suspected cocaine hidden inside their car after they were stopped for driving erratically on Route 30.
Dario E. Jansen-Kelly, 28, and Fernando A. Rivera-Saldivar, 24, told police they were headed to an auto auction in Cincinnati in Jansen-Kelly’s 2015 Toyota Camry when they pulled off the turnpike and onto Route 30, according to court documents.
Officer Joseph Riley reported that he pulled the car over about 9 p.m. after observing it driving westbound without its headlights on. Prior to the traffic stop, Jansen-Kelly sat idle at a steady green light and then attempted a U-turn on the busy highway as Riley pulled his patrol car behind the Toyota, the officer reported.
Riley said K9 Nero was brought to the scene after both men acted “extremely nervous,” shielding the center console with their hands. Police said the vehicle was not registered to either man but instead to a New York-based firm.
Police reported discovering an unspecified amount of cocaine in eight sealed black plastic bags hidden inside the console. They also found six cell phones which had been bought using fraudulent identities and credit cards at Walmart department stores in Mechanicsburg, Hempfield and North Huntingdon, according to court documents.
“When asked about the phones and the names attached to the sales, (Rivera-Saldivar) said he guessed the phone numbers of the people listed on the accounts to open the lines of credit,” Riley reported.
In addition, Rivera-Saldivar said he “found the cocaine in a parking lot somewhere out of state and said he did not know why he picked it up or kept it.”
Both men are natives of the Dominican Republic, according to court documents.
Each is charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, six counts of identity theft and theft by deception.
Both were arraigned Sunday before acting District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. of New Kensington. He ruled the men to be potential flight risks and ordered them held without bail in the county jail pending preliminary hearings, scheduled March 6.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .