Middlesex County News

Former Edison Police Officer Facing More Charges


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


Carteret Police Department Investigated for Firearm Permit Irregularities

March 20, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - During a time when intense scrutiny is being placed on the sale, purchase, and registration of firearms, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that an investigation is underway concerning the issuance of firearms permits by the Carteret Police Department.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has learned that numerous Permits to Purchase ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 8:00 PM

Kidztopia, Matawan

Business Women Networking Event

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Middlesex chamber to hold "Make It & Move It Middlesex" event on Tuesday

March 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK — Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, Freeholder Kenneth Armwood and Freeholder Charles Kenny will be the featured guests tomorrow at “Make It & Move It Middlesex,” a four-part economic development series hosted by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Make It & Move It Middlesex is designed to connect the ...

Millennials Embrace Family Travel - Move Over Baby Boomers

March 20, 2018

FLORHAM PARK NJ - 88 million Americans are planning to take family vacations this year, the largest group planning getaways are millennials.

"Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones," said Rick Del Nero, AAA Northeast Vice President of Travel. "No matter their age, families ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...