10 arrested after busting of an alleged drug distribution network
New Brunswick – 10 individuals were taken into custody by the State and local authorities after busting up a drug distribution network, seizing drugs and several illegal weapons which were estimated to be worth almost $130,000.
The drug distribution business was running since 2 decades in which a city housing inspector possessing drugs in his government vehicle, a township public works employee taken into custody at his job and a large amount of drugs found at a Cranbury restaurant were involved. On 7th of January, Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police said in a news release, “Crimes involving drug distribution and illegal firearms are always a priority, but this case is more significant for two reasons: public employees were involved and the illegal activity may have been going on for many years”.
The 10-months investigation was carried on 47-year-old Paul Cano, 53-year-old John Meerbaugh of North Brunswick, 53-year-old Frank Kinelski of Somerset. According to the police, they were using private means to distribute cocaine and marijuana around Central New Jersey. They were distributing it for twenty years. Cano is also accused of purchasing and selling illegal weapons while distributing drugs. All the three were taken into custody in December.
In the 10-month investigation, 3 public employees were also charged including Michael Mahony, the chief housing inspector in New Brunswick, Michael Vitanza, a North Brunswick employee and 40-year-old Scott Campion of North Brunswick. Michael Mahony and Michael Vitanza are suspended without pay. Scott Campion was charged with loitering to commit a controlled dangerous substance offense and conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance. After he was taken into custody, he was released on his own recognizance.
In an email, Sheriff Mildred Scott told NJ.com, “I am aware of the charges. Scott Campion was suspended without pay (on Dec. 20) pending further actions”.
The New Brunswick chief housing inspector, Mahony was taken into custody while driving a city-owned vehicle near his home and he had a large amount of cocaine in his vehicle when he was arrested, according to the police. Police charged him with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.
Police said that Vitanza was taken into custody at his place of work in mid-December and was charged with drug offenses, in which conspiracy to distribute was also included.
New Brunswick Police Director, Anthony Caputo said, “I am proud of the contributions my officers were able to bring to this investigation and I am thankful to the New Jersey State Police and the other agencies for their resources throughout this process. The New Brunswick Police Department will continue to work with our partners in the pursuit of criminal activity which touches our neighborhoods”.
In the last, 40-year-old Gaetano Barone was taken into custody on 27th of December. He is the owner of Cranberry’s Gourmet Café and according to the authorities; detectives seized cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, prescription legend drugs, steroids, a handgun, and counterfeit clothing from his café.
3 others were also taken into custody. 54-year-old Richard Murphy, 21-year-old Robert Blume and 48-year-old John Allegro and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and were released on their own recognizance.
According to the police, the total amount of drugs recovered are more than 1.5 kilos of cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana, 12 ounces of MDMA, 167 prescription legend drugs, and steroids.
For investigation, the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the New Brunswick Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Plainfield Police Department and the FBI teamed up.
News Source: www.NJ.com