Fort Lee police arrested two men Wednesday in connection with an alleged marijuana sale in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, charging one of the men with being a fugitive from justice, authorities said.
Officer Timothy Cullen of the Fort Lee Narcotics Unit was patrolling the area near McDonald’s on Lemoine Avenue just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, when he spotted a Lexus RX with New Jersey plates pull up next to a Honda Accord with New York license plates that was parked in the restaurant’s parking lot, according to police.
Cullen saw Dale Balderacchi, 20, of Ridgefield walk up to the passenger side of the Honda, where he allegedly took part in a "hand-to-hand transaction" with one of the occupants in the parked car, police said.
When Balderacchi got back in his car and left the parking lot, Cullen followed him, while a marked Fort Lee police unit stopped the Honda. After Cullen stopped Balderacchi and approached his car, he “detected a strong odor of raw marijuana” and found that Balderacchi allegedly had five bags of marijuana in his possession, police said.
Balderacchi was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was processed and released on his own recognizance pending a criminal court date, according to police.
After stopping the Honda, police discovered that one of the occupants, 41-year-old Nelson Flores of the Bronx, was allegedly a fugitive from justice out of Delaware on charges of manufacturing and distributing narcotics, police said.
Flores was arrested, processed and taken to the Bergen County Jail, where he is awaiting an extradition hearing, according to authorities.