A Hoboken man with a long rap sheet of drug-related offenses will serve six years in an Ohio prison after being caught with nearly 500 bags of heroin during a traffic stop earlier this year, the Marion Star reported.
Following a three-day trial last week, Curtis Gartrell, a 35-year-old Clinton Street resident, was found guilty of trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin, both second-degree felonies.
Marion, Ohio Police Maj. Bill Collins, who had a hunch Gartrell might be carrying drugs after he spotted the man riding through Marion in an out-of-town taxi, said the 499 bags of heroin police found hidden in Gartrell's luggage was the most he'd ever encountered in a single bust.
Had he been carrying one more bag of heroin, Gartrell's crime would have been a first-degree felony, prosecutor Brent Yager told the Star.
“That’s not by mistake, I don’t think,” Collins said.
Gartrell, who has been arrested on drug charges in both Bergen and Passaic counties, also had 20 grams of marijuana and $1,732 in cash on him at the time of the arrest this March, police said.
Prior to his arrest, Gartrell had reportedly traveled from northern New Jersey to Columbus, Ohio, where he then caught a cab into Marion, the Star reported.
He will serve a mandatory six-year sentence at a facility in Marion, according to the paper.