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DV Pilot police & fire

Wanted Bronx ex-con, Ridgefield man caught in Fort Lee McDonalds pot bust

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

BEYOND THE INITIAL REPORT: Fort Lee police said a quickie drug deal at the McDonalds near the George Washington Bridge led to the arrests of a small-time pot dealer from Ridgefield and an ex-con from the Bronx who’s wanted in Delaware.

Officer Timothy Cullen of the department’s Narcotics Unit said he was patrolling the area when he spotted the deal go down in the parking lot of the McDonalds on Lemoine Avenue just before 8 o’clock last night.

As Cullen looked on, a Lexus RX driven by 20-year-old Dale Balderacchi of Ridgefield pulled up to a Honda Accord driven by Nelson Flores, 41, Detective Sgt. Kenneth Porrino said.

Balderacchi got out, went up to the passenger side of the Accord and made the exchange, Porrino said.

As Cullen followed Balderacchi’s car from the lot, uniformed officers tailed Flores’ Honda, the sergeant said. Both were stopped moments later.

Cullen smelled raw marijuana coming from the Lexus, searched Balderacchi and found him carrying five bags of pot, Porrino said.

Balderacci was released without bail pending a Municipal Court date on marijuana and paraphernalia possesion charges.

Flores was taken to the Bergen County Jail to be extradited to Delaware, where he was wanted on a warrant.

Flores has a lengthy conviction record dating back more than 22 years for selling, trafficking and distributing drugs in several states, including New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, records show.

The Delaware warrant stems from a December 2000 guilty plea to drug trafficking, after which authorities said Flores skipped sentencing.

It wasn’t the first time he failed to show for court: It happened twice in New York the past several years, leading to a pair of brief prison stretches, records show.

DEA agents previously arrested him in Ohio in 2002, which eventually sent Flores to a Michigan federal prison for more than two years. There, they said, he was caught selling heroin to other inmates.

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