Storage Wars credibility took a hit when star Dave Hester filed a lawsuit claiming that the show is fake. More drama appears to be unfolding for the popular A&E series. Mark Balelo was allegedly on track to get more air time once Hester was locked out of production, but that was before it became public knowledge that the minor cast member spent time in jail on a felony charge.
A publicist for the show denies that Storage Wars is rigged and maintains that items found in the storage lockers are not staged.
Mark Balelo was first introduced to the viewing audience in Season 2. He has one been featured a handful of times since then, Reality Tea reports. According to a Radar Online source, the powers-that-be at A&E are thinking about using the man who visibly ruffled the feathers of other storage locker hunters, to replace Dave Hester.
Just when it looked like Balelo was poised to become a reality show star, reports surfaced that he was arrested for three felonies in 2007. The charges allegedly included possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and the sale or transport of a controlled substance. Two of the charges were ultimately dismissed but Mark Balelo pled guilty to the sale or transport of a controlled substance in 2009.
The Storage Wars cast member was reportedly sentenced to 60 days in prison and given three years of probation. Balelo had this to say about the charges:
“A limo was rented in my name. I wasn’t even there. It’s not a big deal.”
In 2011, law enforcement officers reportedly discovered the Storage Wars cast member transporting a firearm, which was a violation of the terms of his parole. Balelo was then sentence to spend 132 days in prison.
Mark Balelo’s girlfriend Elizabeth Metzidis had this to say about the parole violation:
“When he buys storage units we come across weapons, drugs, and all kinds of things. There was a situation in June 2011 where he was carrying the contents of several units and was stopped by police. They asked if he was on probation and he said yes. So they searched everything and found things Mark didn’t even know was in the car. I want people to know that Mark has a heart of gold. There’s a very dear and good side to him. I have a son who has autism and he’s been very active raising money for that cause. He is a very good person who was just in a bad situation.”