BOONTON TOWNSHIP — James R. Barberio, 22, Lake Hiawatha, was arrested and charged with 2C:35-10A(4) possession of less than 50 grams of Marijuana, 2C:36-2 use or possession with intent to use and 39:3:33 display of unclear or indistinct license plates on Friday, December 22 at 10:24 p.m. by Detective Christopher Chicoris of the Boonton Township Police Department. Barberio was driving a Silver 2016 Subaru WRX.
Detective Chicoris states “I exited my patrol car and approached the vehicle on the passenger side. When I walked up to the vehicle I noticed the passenger side window was down and I detected a strong odor of marijuana. I then made contact with the driver (James Barberio) and observed visible smoke inside the vehicle. The odor of marijuana was very strong at this time. I asked James to provide me with his license registration and proof of insurance. While James was gathering his documents I observed several empty cigar wrapper packaging in his vehicle (cigar wrappers are used to make marijuana cigarettes). James provided me with his documents and I requested him to step out of the vehicle.”
“I continued to detect the odor of marijuana on James clothing and searched him for any further contraband, which was negative. I informed James that I detected the odor of marijuana inside his vehicle and was awaiting a back up unit prior to searching his vehicle. James informed me that he had a small amount, specifically a half gram, of marijuana inside his vehicle along with a “grinder” (used to break up or grind marijuana to be smoked in a pipe or marijuana cigarette). James further informed me that he had smoked the marijuana inside his vehicle. Moments later, Sergeant Cacciabeve arrived on scene. I briefed Cacciabeve as to my findings and Informed him that I would be searching the vehicle,” he stated.
“I then placed James in handcuffs and informed him that he was under arrest for the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was then transported back to police headquarters for processing. There was no contraband inside the rear seat of my vehicle before or after transport,” said Chicoris.
Barberio was advised of his mandatory court date at the Boonton Township Municipal Court on January 10, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
Boonton Township Municipal Court prosecutor is Doug Cabana. Cabana is the former Parsippany-Troy Hills Municipal Prosecutor, appointed by former Mayor James R. Barberio, until December 31, 2017 when the new administration did not reappoint Cabana.
Former Council President Louis Valori said “We need to start putting safeguards in place. Because again we know the opioid problem that occurs in this town, in the state and in the nation. Our town is a great town, we have 7,500 students. The last thing we want in our town is a legal dispensary for recreational use for marijuana. I think that is the last thing we want in our town. I just challenge the Council and the new incoming Mayor to put that into consideration and pass an ordinance and not allow this to happen in our town.”
Councilman Michael dePierro stated, “I disagree with making marijuana legal in the state of New Jersey, it’s an entrance drug, that our kids don’t need to have access to. I am opposed to it. However, if we do pass an ordinance, in the town and the state makes it legal, I do not want the taxpayers of Parsippany to burden the legal costs in fighting the State of New Jersey.”
“Many many years ago our family was impacted by drug use, and we lost one of our relatives, so if we do have an ordinance I would vote to definitely not have marijuana in our state, our town, stated Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani.
Boonton Township Police Chief Paul C. Fortunato informed Parsippany Focus, the case was heard at Boonton Township Municipal Court on Wednesday, January 10.
Parsippany Focus reached out to Boonton Township Court Administrator & Violations Clerk, Joan Egan, for additional information on the outcome of the case, or to find out if the case was sent to a different Court that would not have a conflict. She did not return our calls as of the time this story was published. Court Office Hours are only Monday and Wednesday 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.