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Mahwah PD: Woman Swallows 10 Folds of Heroin to Avoid Arrest

Michelle Steiner
Michelle Steiner Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. – A passenger in a car stopped by Mahwah police as the New York State occupants headed home from Paterson had to be hospitalized after she swallowed 10 small envelopes of heroin in a fruitless attempt to avoid arrest, authorities said Monday.

Officer Thomas Mitchell stopped the 2006 Acura around 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a lights violation and found an arrest warrant out of Hawthorne for 23-year-old Michelle Steiner of Cornwall-On-Hudson, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.

Steiner was brought to headquarters along with the driver, Matthew Sonzongi of Chester, N.Y., he said.

“While processed, she started asking for water and making gagging noises,” Batelli said. “As her condition worsened she began to vomit.”

Questioned by police, Steiner admitted she’d swallowed the heroin, the chief said.

“Paramedics and the Mahwah Ambulance Corps responded to headquarters while officers administered first aid and had Narcan available in the event she lapsed into an overdose,” Batelli said.

Steiner was taken to the Valley Hospital. Township police, meanwhile, notified their Hawthorne colleagues.

Steiner, who was charged with possession of drug and paraphernalia and tampering with evidence, was later taken to the Passaic County Jail on the warrant.

Sonzongi, meanwhile, received summonses for having drugs in a vehicle and failing to maintain headlights.

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