Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson accused an elected member of the Flemington Borough Town Council of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances.
Malik D. Johnston, who is also known as Pippin J. Folk, 46, of Flemington, was charged with second-degree distribution of cocaine, second-degree distribution of methamphetamine, second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and second-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
According to the prosecutor, on various occasions between December 2022 and February 2023 in Raritan Township, the Democratic councilman sold cocaine and methamphetamine to an undercover police officer.
Further investigation revealed Johnston to be in possession of additional quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine with intent to distribute while in the Borough of Flemington.
Robeson credited the Flemington Borough Police Department and the Narcotics Task Force — which includes members of the New Jersey State Police Kingwood Station — for conducting a model investigation that led to the subject charges.
“The joint investigation demonstrates the expertise and professionalism of Hunterdon County’s law enforcement community. Illegal drug manufacture and distribution continue to pose a significant threat to public health and safety, which will be detected and prosecuted according to law,” said Robeson.
Second-degree charges may result in criminal penalties including, but not limited to, a term of imprisonment between five and ten years and a fine not to exceed $150,000.00.
Johnston was lodged at the Warren County Correctional Center awaiting his first appearance in court.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In 2020, Johnston said that he was raised in a single-parent home, where “there were broken needles on our playgrounds. At one point, I lived in a homeless shelter. That was the point in my life where I saw that my contribution to society could transform it for others.”
He moved to Flemington and became an electrical apprentice through Hunterdon Polytech.
“I will be an advocate for those who live here now, and those who will choose Flemington in the future and will work together for a more inclusive Flemington,” said Johnston. “I’m passionate about volunteering and want to create more opportunities to connect our residents and engage in change together.”