NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Michael Mahony, the city's chief housing inspector since 1994 "was arrested and taken into custody near his residence while driving a city- owned vehicle," according to a State Police.

Mahony "was found with a distribution quantity of cocaine during the arrest," according to today's press release describing his December 19 arrest.

As we reported last month, Mahony was charged with distributing cocaine, jailed for one night before posting bail, and subsequently suspended from his city job without pay.

"On Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19, detectives executed numerous arrest and search warrants," read the press release.

Mahony's supplier, a New Brunswick landlord named Paul Cano, was arrested in New Brunswick near Jersey Avenue, according to the release.

Other alleged drug network leaders arrested by State Police include John Meerbaugh, who was arrested at his home in North Brunswick, Frank Kinelski, who was arrested at his home in Franklin Township, and Gaetano Barone, who was arrested at his Cranbury business, Cranberry's Gourmet Cafe.

"The majority of the drugs and weapons were found at the Cranberry’s Gourmet Cafe and at the homes of Cano, Meerbaugh and Kinelski," read the release.

The operation also took down a public worker in North Brunswick and a dispatcher for the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department.

Though State Police did not admit to it in their press release, sources and witnesses say a search warrant was executed on the city's Elks Lodge, where Mahony served as treasurer.

The official charges against Mahony are distribution and possession of cocaine, as well as possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and within 500 feet of a public building.

While Mahony's Milltown residence is not within 1,000 feet of a school, the Elks Lodge at 40 Livingston Avenue is just 600 feet away from the Roosevelt Elementary School.

The Elks Lodge is also roughly 450 feet away from the building that houses the city's police station and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.  It is located across the street from a Rutgers University building as well.

The Elks building is also home to the offices of the Middlesex County Planning Board.

In recent years, Mahony has gotten involved politically, spending $1,250 support of the city's longtime Mayor James Cahill.

Editor at New Brunswick Today | 732-993-9697 |

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.