EDISON – An Edison man has been arrested and charged with 43 counts arising from the possession and intent to distribute methamphetamines, and the illegal possession of 31 weapons and gunpowder, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
John Butterfield, 55, was arrested at his home on Sept. 11, during an intensive investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Gangs, Guns and Drugs Task Force.
Butterfield is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $750,000 bail.
Investigator Joseph Celentano and members of the of the task force developed information to secure a warrant allowing for the lawful search of Butterfield’s home, which is located in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Edison.
During the search, police uncovered 31 weapons, including shotguns, handguns, rifles and two silencers. In addition, police seized 78 grams of methamphetamines, with an estimated street value of $16,000, and an undetermined amount of gunpowder.
As a result, Butterfield was charged with possession of methamphetamines, possession with intent to distribute, possession of more than ½ ounce of the controlled dangerous substance, possession within a school zone and possession within 500 feet of a public library.
He also was charged with violating a law that prohibits convicted felons from owning weapons and was charged with 31 counts of unlawful possession of each of the weapons.
In addition, Butterfield was charged with two counts of possessing the silencers, which are prohibited devices, and three counts of possessing hollow-point bullets.
He also was charged with risking widespread damage or injury by possessing the gunpowder. The amount of the explosive material has yet to be determined, but was significant enough to cause concern for the surrounding residential area and was safely and immediately removed without incident.
Acting Prosecutor Carey said the Edison Police Department, the New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation and he thanked those agencies for their help.
“The primary goal of our task force, which targets illegal drugs, guns, and gangs activity, is to ensure the safety of the residents of Middlesex County through the seizure of illegal weapons and drugs. This significant seizure, which took place near both a school and a library, has demonstrated our commitment to that goal.” Carey said.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Butterfield are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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