Lakewood cops stop car for seat belt violation, arrest man for gun, crack cocaine

    Police arrested a man for possession of a loaded handgun and drugs following a traffic stop in Lakewood Tuesday evening. 

    Shortly after 6 p.m., detectives from the Lakewood Police Department Street Crimes Unit witnessed an unrestrained male occupant of an older model gray Mercedes and subsequently initiated a traffic stop near Michelle Way in the township, police said in a release. 

    During the stop, the detectives observed a rear passenger, identified as Ryheem Johnson, 21, of Lakewood attempting to “retrieve or conceal an unknown object near his waist,” according to the release.

    After Johnson was removed from the vehicle, police found a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of his sweatpants and crack cocaine, police said. Another passenger, Latique Lynn-Mendez, 18, of Lakewood was arrested after he was found in possession of drug paraphernalia.

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    Johnson was charged with possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, and failure to wear a seat belt. Bail was set at $70,000 with no 10% option. Lynn-Mendez was released after receiving a summons for possession of drug paraphernalia.

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