A month-long investigation into narcotics distribution in the Mercer County area has culminated with one arrest and the seizure of $25,500 in heroin, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
On Thursday, January 26, 2023, 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. At approximately 6:40 p.m., officers observed the target of the investigation, 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 to the scent of narcotics on the passenger side door. A search warrant was executed and, inside of the Altima, officers located a reusable shopping bag with a shoe box inside containing approximately 150 bricks of heroin.
Leonard, 34, of East Orange, NJ, was charged with multiple narcotics offense. The prosecutor’s 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.
Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.