Cops in Elmhurst find laundry bags full of marijuana after pulling over a car for a violation

Members of the 110th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit are pictured with the proceeds of a successful drug bust on Nov. 28.
Photo via Twitter/@NYPD110Pct

A routine traffic stop in Elmhurst this week turned into a major drug bust that ended with two New Jersey men behind bars.

Members of the 110th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit were on patrol in the area of Broadway and 45th Avenue at 6:11 p.m. on Nov. 28 when they observed a white BMW traveling with an obstructed license plate.

Upon stopping the vehicle, law enforcement sources said, the officers approached it and met the driver, Gerard Franco, 51, of Carteret, NJ, and a rear passenger, Romeo Sombillo, 28, of Edison, NJ.

During questioning, police noted, the officers spotted a joint as well as loose marijuana in plain sight.

According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, the officers conducted a further investigation and found inside of the vehicle several laundry bags containing a combined 15 pounds of marijuana. They also recovered, from the vehicle and the suspects, quantities of methamphetamine, concentrated cannabis compound and assorted pills, and $3,991 in cash.

Sombillo and Franco were taken into custody on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana. Court records indicated that both men remain behind bars as of Nov. 30; Sombillo is held on $20,000 bond, while Franco’s bail was set at $7,500 cash or $5,000 bond. They are due back in court on Dec. 13.

Captain Nicola Ventre, the precinct’s commander, took to Twitter to applaud the Anti-Crime Unit’s efforts.