Law & Justice

Former Edison Police Officer Facing More Charges

3f89c8e8f4c38d3a8da4_mcpo.jpg
3f89c8e8f4c38d3a8da4_mcpo.jpg

EDISON, NJ – Former police officer Michael Dotro is facing even more charges after allegedly tampering with a witness in one of the criminal cases pending against him, prosecutors said Thursday.

In a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, officials said Dotro, 40, of Manalapan, is now charged with witness tampering and conspiracy to commit witness tampering after working with another unidentified individual to intimidate a witness against him, the release said.

Dotro forfeited his position as an Edison patrolman in September as part of a guilty plea in one of a slew of criminal cases brought against him.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition, he is facing yet another charge regarding trying to set fire to a superior officer’s house in Monroe in 2013, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said last fall.

Dotro and current Edison police officer Christian Pedana are now charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated arson and official misconduct relating to incidents in 2013, a press release from Carey’s office said.

This case is in addition to charges Dotro faces for trying to burn down the home of a superior officer in Monroe Township on May 20,2013.

According to police, Dotro tried starting the fire by throwing a Molotov Cocktail at the home where the officer and his family were sleeping.

The residents of the home escaped unharmed, police said.

The new charges now include Pedana, who police say, lied during questioning by Middlesex County Detective Donald Heck in June 2013.

He is charged with false swearing and a related count of official misconduct, according to the release.

Dotro, who resigned from the department was already out on $1.6 million bail and pleaded guilty along with three other officers in September in a separate case, and is still facing charges in other cases.

Dotro, along with officers Brian Favretto, 41, of Brick, Victor Aravena, 45, of Edison and Sgt. William Gesell, 48, of Edison, made the pleas in September with jury selection in their trial underway, according to a press release at the time.

The charges stem from a 2012 incident where a North Brunswick police officer arrested an individual for drunk driving, police said.

Dotro, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in the case, knew the individual charged and admitted that he sought to retaliate against the North Brunswick officer for the arrest, according to police.

Favretto pleaded guilty to a count of obstruction of the administration of the law, admitting that he tried to intervene in the drunk driving case, police said.

Sgt. Gesell admitted that he accessed computer records on the North Brunswick officer to aid Dotro in the retaliation plan, according to police.

He pleaded guilty to tampering with public records, police said.

Aravena pleaded guilty to a count of obstruction of administration of the law by admitting that he passed along computer records to Dotro as part of the plan.

Although the plans were in process, no actual retaliation took place, investigators determined.

The officers are scheduled to be sentenced in New Brunswick on Jan. 13, 2017 and each will forfeit their jobs and never hold public jobs in the state again as well as face probationary terms under the terms of the plea agreement, police said.

In addition, Dotro is also charged with slashing a township woman’s tires, having prohibited devices, possession of an imitation firearm, carrying brass knuckles, carrying a small club known as a “black jack,” possession of a small quantity of marijuana and possession of a device to smoke marijuana, all from a May 2013 incident, according to police.

Dotro is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick and is expected to appear before Superior Court Judge Gary Price on the new charge tomorrow, according to the release.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Environmental Victory – Transco Withdraws NESE Pipeline Application to DEP

June 21, 2018

In a small victory for the environment, Transco withdraws DEP’s application for their compressor station in Franklin Twp. on June 14, 2018 for approval under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules & Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules. Transco also withdrew DEP’s application for their pipeline on the Old Bridge Raritan bay for approval under Coastal Wetlands ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...