Saturday, July 17, 2004

"Darn! Left the heroin in the rental car!"

Heroin discovered inside a rental car

Inquirer Staff Writer

Gloves, loose change, sunglasses, CDs - all are commonly left behind in rental cars.

Eighty-eight bags of heroin - not so common.

The July 2 discovery of the drugs under a layer of napkins in the console of a Chevrolet Impala prompted employees of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Langhorne to call police.

Middletown officers then hatched a plan to nab Robert Laguerre, the suspected dealer whose wallet containing several identification cards was also found with the drugs.

Using information found in the wallet, Detective Daniel Baranoski began calling various phone numbers to reach Laguerre. Between July 9 and 15, the two spoke several times, and police said Laguerre acknowledged owning the drugs and wallet.

Baranoski, in the role of someone who had found the drugs and wanted to return them for a reward, set up a meeting at the Oxford Valley Mall. Police said Laguerre arrived outside the food court at 10:10 a.m. Thursday to reclaim his drugs and provide a $300 reward.

That is when he was arrested.

In addition to the $300, police seized $1,670 in $5 and $10 bills that Laguerre was carrying. They also confiscated his Infiniti Q45.

Laguerre, who police said was also known as Robert Laquerre, Elijah Laguerre, Robert Minney, Troy Bell and other aliases, had been released April 19 from a New Jersey prison where he spent time for heroin distribution. Police said Laguerre was on parole and had more than a dozen other arrests for drugs and weapons offenses in New York and New Jersey.

Laguerre, 30, of Eisenhower Avenue in Trenton, was arraigned Thursday at Bucks County District Court. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and criminal use of a cell phone. He being held in Bucks County Prison on $75,000 bail.

Police said a Trenton woman rented the Impala on June 17 and returned it to Enterprise June 26.

Enterprise spokesman Lee Broughton said no one had ever left heroin in one of the company's rental cars before.

But, he said, "someone had been to Home Depot and returned a vehicle with a kitchen sink left in the trunk."

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