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East Orange Man Convicted For Driving High With Six Unrestrained Kids

An East Orange man has been convicted of driving 95 miles per hour on a Virginia highway with six unrestrained kids while high on heroin.

Isaiah Hall pleaded guilty in Hopewell Circuit Court this week to charges stemming from the traffic stop on Interstate 295 last spring.

The 57-year-old pleaded guilty to heroin possession and endangering the lives of his grandchildren. He was found guilty earlier of reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and other charges.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Hall, his adult daughter and the grandchildren age 4, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 15 were returning to New Jersey after attending a funeral in North Carolina.

“No one had on a seat belt and there were two children who should have had been restrained in booster seats by Virginia law,” Hopewell prosecutor Elisabeth Custalow told the newspaper.

Hall told police he had a booster seat but it was left behind when the one of the two vehicles they took on the trip broke down and everyone had to “cram” into one car.

Police discovered the heroin when they searched his car after bringing Hall to jail. “When they lifted up the back seat of the patrol vehicle, they found three more paper baggies containing the powdered substance,” Custalow said.

The stop was made in a targeted law enforcement area called the “million-dollar mile” which has generated additional revenue for Hopewell since 2006. In all, the sheriff’s office issued 11,933 citations along Hopewell’s 1 to 2-mile section of I-295 in 2012, with assessed fines topping $1.5 million. Hopewell’s share stands at $741,814 through the first six months of 2012.

Hall is set to be sentenced May 22. Prosecutors say state sentencing guidelines will likely call for no more than a year in jail.


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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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