NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Former township police officer Michael Dotro will spend the next 20 years in prison for a series of crimes committed in the last five years, including the attempted murder of a supervising officer and his family, officials said Thursday.
According to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Dotro, 40, of Manalapan, will serve at least 17 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole as part of a plea agreement.
Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr., imposed the sentence Thursday in accordance with a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Russell Curley. In addition, the Judge ordered restraining orders to protect the victims involved, the release said.
“We are satisfied now that Michael Dotro has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years incarceration for crimes which all of our many honorable police officers find repugnant,” Prosecutor Carey said in the release. “Over the past few years, the Prosecutor’s Office, along with Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan, and members of Edison Police Department, have worked diligently to remove the cancerous officers from the ranks of the department. As a result, police officers can proudly wear the Edison Police shield as they protect and serve all members of the public; and our residents can be confident that the Edison Police Department is functioning effectively and with integrity.”
According to the release, Dotro received 20 years for attempted murder in the first degree and 10 years for aggravated arson in the second degree for setting the May 23, 2013, fire at the Monroe Township home of another Edison officer, who was his supervisor.
Both sentences are subject to the No Early Release Act, which requires him to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole, the release said.
In addition, he was sentenced to 10 years for official misconduct in the second degree, five years for conspiracy to tamper with a witness in the third degree and 18 months for conspiracy to retaliate in the fourth degree, officials said.
All sentences are to run concurrent for a maximum of 20 years.
Dotro is also to serve five years of parole supervision once released from state prison, the release said.
The former police officer was charged during an extensive investigation by the Detective Bureau of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office; led by Detective Donald Heck and Detective Christopher Pennisi.