Local/State

10 charged in central New Jersey drug ring

Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Paul Cano

Pictured: Paul Cano, 47, one of the suspects arrested in the central New Jersey drug ring investigation dubbed 'Operation Smoke Screen.'

State police say ten people have been arrested in connection with a large drug distribution network based in central New Jersey.

The arrests, which were made late last month and announced Tuesday, culminate a 10-month investigation into the ring, which apparently had operated for several years.

Police say the investigation focused on the alleged drug distribution activities of Paul Cano, 47, of New Brunswick, John Meerbaugh, 53, of North Brunswick, and Frank Kinelski, 53 of Somerset.

They are accused of distributing cocaine and marijuana in central New Jersey for up to two decades.

Also among those arrested were Michael Mahony, 55, of Milltown, who is the Chief Housing Inspector of the New Brunswick Housing Authority.

Two others arrested are Michael Vitanza, 57 of North Brunswick, who is employed by the North Brunswick Department of Public Works, and Scott Campion, 40, of North Brunswick who is a dispatcher with the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities seized more than 1.5 kilos of cocaine, two pounds of marijuana, twelve ounces of MDMA, 167 prescription legend drugs and steroids.

They also seized numerous weapons, more than $10,000 in cash and a pickup truck allegedly used for drug distribution.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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new jersey news, drugs, local/state
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