Police Blotter: Heroin Found After Car With Unlit Brake Light Stopped

Here's a roundup of notable police activity in Lawrence Township from Jan. 11 through Jan. 15.

Drug Offense

Noe Rodriguez Velarde, 31, of Gresham, Ore., was arrested about 10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, and charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia after the vehicle he was driving was stopped by Officer Ryan Dunn on Brunswick Pike (Route 1) near Grovers Mill Road, according to Lawrence Township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.

Dunn initiated the traffic stop after noticing that the vehicle Velarde was driving had a non-functioning rear brake light and a computer check of the registration revealed that the driver’s license of the vehicle’s owner was suspended, Ubry said.

As it turned out, Velarde is not the vehicle’s registered owner. While he was being interviewed by Dunn, however, Velarde appeared nervous, and Dunn soon learned that Velarde was wanted in connection with an outstanding warrant, Ubry said

Further investigation by Dunn resulted in the discovery of a quantity of heroin in the vehicle, according to Ubry. After Velarde was taken into custody, he said, a search of Velarde’s person revealed 25 additional packets of heroin and two hypodermic needles in his coat pockets.  

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Driving Under the Influence

Melissa S. Corrales, 33, of the 2100 block of Liberty Street, Hamilton Township, was arrested about 2 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, and charged with 11 motor vehicle offenses, including driving under the influence, reckless driving, operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, according to Ubry.

Officer Andres Mejia was on patrol when he observed Corrales driving her vehicle along the shoulder of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) near the Brunswick Traffic Circle, Ubry said. He said Mejia followed Corrales’ vehicle and observed it strike the curb as she parked at the Quick Chek convenience store near the circle.

Corrales was taken into custody after she performed poorly on field sobriety tests, Ubry said.

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Drug Offense

Raymond Rios, 23, of Tower Place, Lawrence Township, was charged with possession of prescription medication without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia after the vehicle he was driving was stopped by police on Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) near Maplewood Avenue about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, Ubry said.

Officer Richard Laird III initiated the traffic stop after observing an equipment violation on Rios’ vehicle, according to Ubry. While Laird was interviewing Rios, he said, Laird spotted a box of suspected drug paraphernalia in the vehicle and, upon further investigation, discovered the prescription narcotics in Rios’ possession.

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Gregory Daniels, 54, of Escher Street, Trenton, was charged with theft and shoplifting after he allegedly stole a shopping cart from the Dollar General store in the 2000 block of Brunswick Pike and two bundles of newspapers from outside of the CVS Pharmacy in the 1900 block of Brunswick Pike during the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 13, Ubry said.

Police caught up with Daniels in the area after a witness called police at 5:15 a.m. and provided a description of a man who had just taken the newspapers from the pharmacy, Ubry said. He said the bundle of 45 Trentonian newspapers was worth $67.50, the bundle of 15 Trenton Times newspapers worth $22.50, and the shopping cart worth $100.

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Vehicle Theft

Lawrence Township police are investigating a 56-year-old East Windsor man’s claim that his vehicle was stolen from the parking lot of Lawrence Shopping Center sometime between Saturday, Jan. 12, and Monday, Jan. 14, Ubry said.

He said the man told police he parked the auto – a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta – outside the Burlington Coat Factory store, located on the side of the shopping center closest to Princeton Pike, about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after experiencing mechanical problems.

A friend picked the man up and he was not able to return to the shopping center until Monday. When he did get back to the shopping center, he told police, his vehicle was gone. He told police he checked with the shopping center’s management and was told that the Volkswagen had not been towed by them.

Police searched the area but did not find the vehicle. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the owner formally signed paperwork to report the vehicle stolen, Ubry said. 


Anyone with information about any of the above crimes is asked to call Lawrence Township police at (609) 896-1111.

A copy of Lawrence Township's police dispatch log for Friday, Jan. 11, through Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, can be viewed from the PDF box above. This log lists all significant calls for service and incidents for which officers filed a written report. Routine administrative assignments are omitted. Some data has been redacted to protect the identity of crime victims




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