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Pair Charged in Marijuana Incident on I-684

The following information was provided by the Bedford Police and does not indicate a conviction.

Two friends from Scarsdale were arrested in Bedford this week after police saw them sitting in their car at a solid green traffic light, police said.

After observing the car stopped at the light on Woodsbridge Road and Route 35, and seeing the car eventually proceed eastbound onto Route 35/Cross River Road and make an unsafe lane change, police stopped the vehicle on the I-684 South ramp. The traffic stop was at 4:23 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Officers questioned the driver, Joseph Steven Russo, 23 and his passenger, Alfred Robert Lafata, 24. Russo had a lighter in his hand and was asked to step out of the car. Officers also noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the car. Because of the traffic on the ramp, no field sobriety tests were performed on site.

Police recovered a marijuana cigarette from the car and brought Lafata and Russo to police headquarters. Lafata was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana; Russo was charged with driving ability impaired by drugs, failure to signal for a lane change, and unsafe lane change. They were released without bail pending an appearance in Bedford court.

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