Defendant sentenced to 13 years in eluding, drugs case

An Essex County man who attempted to elude police three times in four months in 2012, twice being caught with significant quantities of illegal drugs, has been sentenced to 13 years in state prison for the crimes, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Ron Sanders, 35, of Irvington will be ineligible for parole during the first six years of that sentence under the terms set down by state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.

During the first incident, at approximately 10:35 p.m. on June 22, 2012, an Elizabeth Police Department officer on routine patrol attempted to pull over a man later identified as Sanders on Cross Street in Elizabeth for a traffic violation, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who prosecuted the case.

When the officer activated his patrol vehicle’s lights and sirens, Sanders immediately accelerated and refused to stop before a brief vehicle pursuit resulted in his arrest, Suarez said. A small quantity of heroin Sanders had discarded out his window during the pursuit was recovered from the scene, while drug paraphernalia was recovered from his vehicle.

During the second incident, at approximately 12:45 p.m. on November 14, 2012, Elizabeth Police Department officers spotted Sanders conduct a suspected drug transaction from his vehicle on North Broad Street. The officers immediately began a vehicle pursuit that was unsuccessful, after which 70 envelopes of cocaine and drug paraphernalia were recovered from the vehicle belonging to the person with whom Sanders had conducted the suspected drug transaction. 

Five days later, on November 19, 2012, Elizabeth Police Department officers on patrol in the same area again spotted Sanders in the area of Newark Avenue and Clinton Place, and they again attempted to arrest him. Yet upon their arrival, Sanders suddenly accelerated into an officer’s patrol vehicle, causing the vehicle door to strike the officer in the chest, then drove onto a sidewalk, struck a tree, and sped away. A subsequent vehicle pursuit was terminated in neighboring Newark.

Sanders was arrested later that same evening as he sat on the front steps of a residence on North Broad Street in Elizabeth. Several glass vials containing cocaine were recovered from his person, while a search of his home revealed 630 envelopes containing heroin, some bearing stamps that matched the envelopes recovered five days earlier.

In February 2016, Sanders pleaded guilty to charges including second-degree eluding and three third-degree drug offenses.