NORTH BRUNSWICK — A township man has been arrested and charged with possessing and distributing 45 grams of opium, estimated to be worth $2,250 in illicit sales, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, Kenneth McCormick, director of the North Brunswick Police Department, and Charles Giblin, special agent in charge of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Office of Criminal Investigations, announced today.
Mehran Balazadeh, 51, of North Brunswick was arrested and charged on Dec. 18, with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with intent to distribute it within 500 feet of a public park.
Balazadeh was arrested and charged following an investigation by Detective Steven Dunkel of the North Brunswick Police Department and Thaedra Fangros, a criminal forensic auditor with the state Department of Treasury.
Investigators allege the defendant operated an illegal narcotics business from his store, the Carpet & Futon Gallery on Georges Road in North Brunswick.
Balazadeh was apprehended during a traffic stop on Route 18 in East Brunswick. Bail was set at $100,000.
Following the arrest, police, under the guidance of a court-authorized search warrant, seized 45 grams of opium, three automobiles and several hundred pounds of jewelry, gold, silver, diamonds and other precious gems, all of which were believed to have been obtained through illegal narcotics transactions.
Kaplan said the arrest was the result of a cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies and thanked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the state Department of Treasury, Office of Criminal Investigations for their assistance.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, Balazadeh is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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