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Police: Man Passed Out On I-78 Had Drugs and Cash

Robert Chris Carbonell found in his car parked on the middle of I-78, police say.

State police Trooper Scott Labar confronted a potentially deadly situation Friday night.

A white Infiniti with New York license plates was stopped on Interstate 78 around 8:45 not far from the Easton exit, straddling the broken white lines of the eastbound lanes.

In the driver’s seat of the 2008 M35 sedan was a Brooklyn, N.Y., man -- Robert Chris Carbonell, 37 -- who was conscious but unresponsive. There was a white powdery substance near his nostrils, court records say.

Labar was able to move the car, whose engine was running, into the median. He then requested an ambulance. Incredibly, the records make no mention of any traffic mishaps.

One of two troopers who came to assist Labar found a small ziplock baggie with white powder as well as a short plastic straw on the driver’s seat floor. A further search of the car turned up a “large sum” of cash and substances suspected to be cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy.

The cash and suspected drugs were in the glove box.

Carbonell was taken to a hospital by Easton EMS for a possible overdose. And the next day, he was arraigned on several drug charges, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol, the records say.

A criminal complaint filed by Labar said one of the baggies with the white powder tested positive for cocaine. But the complaint does not say if the substances suspected of being methamphetamine and ecstasy were tested.

Carbonell, whose Brooklyn address is listed as the 1400 block of Bushwick Avenue, was charged with the following:

Three violations of the controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act – one a second-degree felony and the other two misdemeanors with one being for drug paraphernalia; driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance – alcohol, operation following suspension of registration, and careless driving.

He was arraigned by on-duty District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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