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.