Suspected heroin dealer among 22 charged in alleged drug ring

EDISON — Township police arrested an alleged heroin dealer and 21 others during an investigation that has spanned several months, authorities said.

Randall Baker, 51, of Edison, was arrested May 8 after a raid at his home on Wintergreen Avenue West. He faces charges of distribution of heroin, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and distribution of a CDS within 500 feet of a public housing facility.

Baker was being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick on $125,000 bail.

When police searched Baker’s home, they allegedly found heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and 100 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, police said. In addition, officers found and seized $1,600 in cash that they believed to have come from drug sales, according to police.

Four others were charged during the raid. Kenyatta Jones, 22, of Edison, was charged with possession of CDS; Emerson Neal, 58, of Edison, was charged with loitering to commit a CDS offense; Demetrius Branham, 45, of Edison, had an outstanding warrant out of Edison; and David Blanding, 50, of Piscataway, was charged on an outstanding burglary warrant and parole violation out of Woodbridge.

The Police Department’s Special Operations Group began an investigation in February after receiving anonymous complaints of drug activity in the area. Since then, police conducted surveillance in the neighborhood and made undercover drug purchases, according to police.

During the investigation, police made a total of 21 arrests, which included some underage individuals. The arrests yielded 500 bags of heroin, with a street value of $5,000, police said.

Detective Bureau Commander Capt. Anthony Marcantuono praised the efforts of Detective Brian Mieczkowski for leading the investigation, which he said is ongoing, with further arrests expected.

“I am extremely proud of the detectives who worked this case from start to finish,” Chief Thomas Bryan said. “It is a testament to the tenacious nature of our police officers to try and curb this heroin epidemic facing Edison and this whole region.”