Stoners surprised, caught smoking pot in police lot

Posted: March 28, 2013

This story has been modified to correct an editing error

Flower children of the '60s used to stress the importance of set and setting when consuming drugs.

That knowledge apparently didn't make it down to three New Jersey stoners.

On Tuesday night, Tpr. Erik Tapia was headed to work. He pulled into the parking lot of the State Police Barracks for Troop B in Totowa, which serves most of northeast New Jersey.

As Tapia stepped out of his car he immediately was hit by the acrid scent of burning pot.

The source of the smoke: a 2002 Oldsmobile parked a few cars away. Three men were inside the car along with small bags of suspected marijuana in plain sight, said spokesman Lt. Steven Jones.

They couldn't have been confused about where they were parked. The trio had been waiting for a fourth man who had gone into the police barracks to retrieve an impounded car.

Tapia, whose shift hadn't even begun, didn't have to wait for his first arrest of the evening, Jones said.

He called out to other troopers who arrived at the scene instantly.

The appearance of law enforcement officers startled the men in the car.

"Imagine their surprise," Jones said. "They obviously weren't expecting to see troopers."

A search of the car turned up 15 small bags of marijuana and more than a dozen pills of suspect ecstasy. Arrested and charged with drug possession were Tamer Abdelrahim, 22 of West Paterson; and Isaias Parrilla, 22, Hensly Nunez, 21, and Bernardo Cuevas, 23, all of Paterson.

Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or

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