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Police: Man Ordered Pair to Drive to Drug Purchase at Gunpoint

Township man remains in jail on $125,000 bail following Monday night incident

A township man is being held on $125,000 bail after police said that he ordered a 19-year-old and his minor friend to drive him to a drug purchase. 

The suspect, 27-year-old Andrew Meli of Main Street, allegedly was armed with a semi-automatic handgun when confronted a 19-year-old Manchester man parked at the Toms River Apartments who was waiting for his 16-year-old female friend. When the girl arrived, Meli then allegedly demanded that the pair drive him to a drug purchase, said Toms River Chief of Police Michael Mastronardy. 

Meli was driven to a South Toms River residence where he allegedly bought cocaine and took $40 from the victims before they were able to drive away, Mastronardy said. 

Detectives Roger Hull and Brian Lomer, assisted by South Toms River police, completed an investigation and were able to identify Meli as the suspect. He was taken into custody at his Toms River Apartments residence at 4 a.m. Tuesday without incident, Mastronardy said.

Meli was charged with robbery and remains in the Ocean County Jail on $125,000 bail, according to the county Department of Corrections. 

The gun allegedly used during the incident was not recovered by police, the chief said, and the investigation is ongoing.

The names of the victims were not released by police. The 19-year-old came to the Toms River Police Department headquarters at 9:30 p.m. Monday to report the incident, according to Mastronardy. 

Bryan January 30, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Gun control laws only take guns out of the law abiding citizens hands not the criminal..
Frank January 30, 2013 at 09:28 PM
never be able to control guns there are way to many already, its like trying to stop STDs there are just to many and people will get them. people have every right to have one if nj wasnt so ass backwards with there laws we would have open carry laws like arizona utah virginia florida etc.and coke head junkie fiends wont do that stuff because they would run the risk of getten taken themselves by a sober individual protecting his or herself and the peoples lifes around them.
Randal Graves January 31, 2013 at 02:12 PM
What really happened was the 19 YO and 16 YO wanted drugs they probably asked this dude Meli to get them some he then robbed them of 40 bucks.
Martin January 31, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I'm so glad you solved the case, Randal. What do we need police for?
Randal Graves February 01, 2013 at 05:13 PM
To siphon your tax dollars while they drive around town talking on their cell phones while crime goes higher in higher in TR due to the fact that criminals know the cops in this town are idiots.


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