'Known Gang Member' Arrested In Mahwah

Police chief credits two Mahwah officers' "excellent" work in nabbing wanted NY man

chief James Batelli credited the “excellent police work” of two Mahwah officers in the apprehension of a “known gang member” wanted in New York.

Mitchell Gardner, 30, of Kingston, N.Y., was arrested in Mahwah Tuesday after being pulled over for a motor vehicle violation, Batelli said. Gardner “was wanted out of New York State for a parole violation,” and had an “extensive criminal history for serious crimes and is a known gang
member,” Batelli said.

Mahwah officers Michael Direnzo and David Vega pulled Gardner’s
2002 Pontiac over Tuesday afternoon and became suspicious when the driver and two male passengers offered officers conflicting stories, Batelli said.

“It was clear that their intention was to hide [Gardner’s identity,]” Batelli said.

As a result of the officers’ investigation, Gardner was identified by fingerprinting, and was found to be carrying three packets used to package heroin, Batelli said. Gardner was arrested on possession of drug paraphernalia and hindering apprehension charges and transported to Bergen County Jail, where he is awaiting transfer to New York on parole violation charges, Batelli said.

Police also seized more than $2,500 in cash Gardner was carrying, he said.

“It was clear from [Gardner’s] extensive criminal history that he was familiar [with] how the system worked and that if authorities learned who he was he would be looking at additional jail time,” Batelli said. “Credit should be given to Officers Direnzo and Vega for their excellent police work.” 

Doreen Strauch August 29, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Another example of great police work in Mahwah. Keep up the good work.
Chardel Vyjial August 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
This is why we need to keep our budget costs low in town by cutting recyling from DPW and use the money to keep the police force we have. The idea of cutting the police force to save a DPW worker is crazy. Another fine job MPD!
Frianne August 29, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Good job MPD!!
ref August 29, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Chardel you are being used sir,careful who you team up with and yes we have an excellent police force but adding to their already hugh budget will not help them to apprehend any more criminals,and besides the whole dpw does an excellent job for our town
fastharry August 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Yep, I agree...Looks like The MPD is great at picking up garbage off the streets.... GO MPD.....GO SGT Curtis!
Mahwah Dad August 29, 2012 at 09:55 PM
MPD you guys are amazing. Keep catching these dirtbags as they pass through our town.
Ira August 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Yeah, great job. You get paid and you do what you suppose do. Real heros.
Andy Schmidt August 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Keep up the pressure, officers. If Mahwah gets/maintains the reputation that an alert and well-equipped and well-staffed police force makes getting off the highway in Mahwah is a risky endeavour for crooks, then much is gained.
Joe August 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Ira These guys were on thier way to your house. Bone Head!
Rick August 31, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Another dangerous criminal off the streets.Gang members are idiots who don't realize they are living in a dead end lifestyle .In the end they will either be dead or in prison.The shame of it all is they hurt innocent people on the way.
Baba Booey August 31, 2012 at 05:52 PM
What do you do for a living?
Andy Schmidt August 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Ira, I don't find the word "hero" in the article? As far as being commended for doing a good job - why do you find that objectionable? Most people get paid for their employment - that doesn't mean everyone does their job well. In fact, a good percentage of people I encounter do a mediocre job at best, some are even outright bad at their profession (whether that be doctors, laywers, tax accountants, craftsmen, IT personnel...). In that light, it certainly deserves commending whenever someone does well at what their paid for - it's nothing to be taken for granted, in my experience. Your mileage may of course vary.
Regenbogen September 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Thank you Mahwah's finest.
Regenbogen September 01, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Could we also have one of Mahwah's finest patrol Meadow Ave. On Friday afternoon. The traffic is horrendous and traveling way, way to fast!
Hank September 02, 2012 at 05:08 PM
This just in: Mitchell Gardner,30 has withdrawn his petition to run for town council.


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