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Southampton Blotter: Traffic stop leads to heroin arrest

A seemingly minor traffic infraction led police to two arrests and the discovery of heroin and needles just after midnight Saturday, according to Southampton Town police.

Driver John Barkowski, 29, of Staten Island and passenger Michael Baumann, 37, of Westbury were pulled over for not staying in their lane of travel while heading north on Flanders Road, near Pleasure Drive, when an officer observed hypodermic needles and an empty plastic wrapper inside the car.

A search of the vehicle turned up a pill bottle that had glassine bags of heroin inside a plastic wrapper that matched the empty one, police said.

Both men were charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Mr. Barkowski was also charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed driving and moving from a lane unsafely, according to police, who said his license was suspended seven times. Mr. Barkowski also was later found with a crack pipe and crack cocaine, according to police.

• A West Babylon man was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, failure to pay child support, false impersonation, drinking alcohol in a car and possession of a controlled substance in a non-original container following a traffic stop in Riverside Saturday night, according to police.

Darnell Giles, 50, was pulled over on Lake Avenue after an officer observed him pulling into a “known drug area,” where another man had been observed leaning into the passenger-side window, police said.

Mr. Giles also told the officer his name was Christopher Stewart to avoid being arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, and he was found with an oxycodone pill without a prescription and a cup containing gin in the car’s center console, according to police.

At the same location, police also arrested Dominique Cratch, 31, who police say is homeless, after an investigation found that she was in possession of a crack pipe and crack cocaine that was hidden inside her bra, according to police.

• A Riverhead man who had run a stop sign in Southampton was later found to be driving under the influence of drugs, according to police.

Alejandro Terron-Bernal, 25, was observed running the stop sign on North Magee Street and Sebonac Road at 4 a.m. last Wednesday. Police said his breath smelled of alcohol and there was an odor of marijuana coming from his car.

Mr. Terron-Bernal told the officer he had two beers and smoked marijuana within the hour, and the marijuana was found on the ground outside the passenger front door, according to police.

He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, failure to stop at a stop sign, and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to police.

• Rudy Elias-Chaj, 37, of Greenport was charged with second-degree criminal impersonation last Thursday after giving an officer a false name, according to police.

An officer noticed a disabled vehicle partially blocking the roadway on Old Squiretown Road near Old Riverhead Road in Hampton Bays at about 1 p.m. and attempted to interview Mr. Elias-Chaj, who was changing his tires, according to police.

Mr. Elias-Chaj said his name was Leo Lopez, and that he wasn’t driving the car.

Officials said it was later learned that Mr. Elias-Chaj gave a false name because his license had been revoked due to a prior DWI conviction, according to police.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.