By: Richard L. Smith
Law enforcement officials in Mercer County reported that a month-long investigation into narcotics distribution in the Mercer County area culminated with one arrest and the seizure of $25,500 in heroin this week.
Prosecutor Onofri said on January 26, members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Robbinsville Township Police Department initiated surveillance in a warehouse parking lot on New Cayton Way in Robbinsville based on information received during the investigation.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, at approximately 6:40 p.m., officers observed the target of the investigation, Mr. Melvin Leonard, in the driver’s seat of a black Nissan Altima.
He was detained without incident. Sgt. Tom Paglione utilized his K-9 partner, Indy, to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle, which resulted in Indy alerting him to the scent of narcotics on the passenger side door.
Prosecutor Onofri said a search warrant was executed and, inside the Altima, officers located a reusable shopping bag with a shoe box containing approximately 150 bricks of heroin.
Police charged Leonard, 34, East Orange, with multiple narcotics offenses.
Prosecutor Onofri said his office has filed a motion to detain him pending trial.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, the street value of the confiscated heroin is approximately $25,500.