EDISON — A suspended Edison Township police officer was arrested today and charged with illegally accessing police computer records, slashing a woman’s car tires, possessing illegal weapons and buying marijuana while on duty and in uniform, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas J. Bryan of the Edison Police Department announced .
Michael A. Dotro, 36, of Manalapan was arrested at his home at about 6:30 a.m. today and was charged with 17 counts, including four counts of official misconduct for his involvement in the four separate incidents.
Among the counts is a charge that he engaged in a pattern of official misconduct. The count was filed as a result of his illegal involvement, as a police officer, in the incidents.
The underlying charges to support the misconduct counts include two counts of unlawful computer access, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, conspiring to distribute marijuana, and two counts of possessing prohibited weapons, identified as a set of brass knuckles and a small club known as a blackjack.
The investigation by Investigator Donald Heck and Investigator Scott Crocco, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, determined that Dotro carried the illegal weapons in his police duty bag while at work.
Dotro is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $340,000, which was set by Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas, who said the defendant must post the full amount, and not the customary 10 percent, before he can be released from custody.
The charges were filed during an ongoing investigation in which it was determined that Dotro engaged in a variety of incidents while serving as a police officer.
The investigation further showed that on Aug. 1, 2012, Dotro allegedly illegally accessed the Edison Police Department’s computer records which are linked to the Criminal Justice Information System, and obtained the license plate number of a vehicle at the request of a resident, whose identity is being withheld.
In December 2012, Dotro, while in uniform and on-duty, purchased an undetermined amount of marijuana in the township from another individual.
It is also charged that on March 17, Dotro slashed the tires of a vehicle owned by an Edison woman, and then illegally accessed the police department computer records in search of the criminal mischief report on the incident. He subsequently reported his findings to another individual whose identity is being withheld. Included is a count of disclosing information in a confidential police investigation.
On May 23, a search of Dotro’s duty bag showed he was in possession of the two weapons. A quantity of marijuana and a device used to smoke the controlled dangerous substance also was recovered from the bag.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Dotro are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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