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Branchburg Police Arrest Bridgewater Resident for Possession of Drugs


Somerset County officials announced the arrest of John W. Hartrum, 58, Bridgewater, for possession of narcotics.

Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald stated that on Monday, August 15, at approximately 11:50 a.m., a Branchburg Township Police Officer, while on patrol along Route 22, conducted a random license plate inquiry, showing an active National Crime Information Center (NCIC) warrant for the registered owner.  

According to Prosecutor McDonald, Branchburg Police conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 22 West approaching France Drive, Branchburg, for a traffic violation.  

The operator of the vehicle was identified as John Hartrum. Upon receiving confirmation of an active Failure to Appear warrant, which had been issued in Somerset County, John Hartrum was removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest without incident.  

Prosecutor McDonald stated that a search incident to arrest yielded a clear plastic bag containing suspected cocaine on defendant Hartrum’s person.   

Defendant Hartrum was transported to Branchburg Police Headquarters for processing, and his vehicle was secured by Branchburg Police pending further investigation.

Prosecutor McDonald stated that defendant Hartrum was initially charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and Failure to turn over a Controlled Dangerous Substance to Police (a Disorderly Persons Offense). 

Defendant Hartrum was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.   

Prosecutor McDonald stated that as a result of this investigation on Tuesday, August 16, pursuant to a Somerset County Superior Court authorized search warrant, Branchburg Township Police Officers searched the vehicle that defendant Hartrum had been operating. 

The search of the vehicle resulted in the officers finding numerous baggies containing suspected heroin along with a quantity of suspected Xanax pills. 

Prosecutor McDonald stated that Hartrum was subsequently charged with two additional counts of Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.  

Somerset County officials request anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Branchburg Township Police Department at (908) 526-3830. 

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). 

All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.