Fed, state, local authorities charge Middletown garage owner with illegal operation

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MIDDLETOWN >> A 43-year-old city man was arrested after local, state and federal authorities discovered he was allegedly running an illegal car repair operation and had an illegally altered pistol hidden in his office located near a housing project, according to Middletown police.

The arrest was made after members of the Middletown Police Department Street Crime Unit and Connecticut State Police Auto Theft Task Force served a warrant Wednesday at 50 Walnut St.

A three-month investigation had revealed that owner Joseph Walden III, 43, of High Meadow Lane was allegedly operating the garage without a license, according to authorities. Walden, who operates Walden Enterprises and is a member of the Ruthless for Life Motorcycle Club, serves as regional president, police said.

During the search of the business, detectives said they turned up evidence, including a pistol with an obliterated serial number in the wall of Walden’s office, firearms, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

Walden is charged with operating an unlicensed garage, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of a firearm, illal possession of ammunition and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Walden was released on a $250,000 bond and is due to appear in court Sept. 6.

Officers worked with officials from the Middlesex Judicial District States Attorney’s Office, the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Statewide Narcotics Task Force North Central Office, state departments of Energy and Environmental Protection and Motor Vehicles, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Connecticut Intelligence Center, Middletown fire marshal and Middletown building inspector, a press release said.

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