Four arrested, two more sought in Ocean Township robbery & drug probe
Four suspects are arrested, and two are on the loose, in the probe of an armed robbery in Monmouth's Ocean Township that includes alleged drug activity in front of toddlers and a cop who was attacked by a dog.
Marcus Blackmon, 19, of Ocean, and Lamont Reid, 19, of Asbury Park, are still sought in connection with the November 27 robbery in the township's Wannamassa section. Edwin Rodriguez, 19, and Ruquan Dean, 18, of Oakhurst, are in custody in connection with the robbery.
Rodriguez and Dean are charged with robbery, child endangerment, obstruction, and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. Rodriguez also faces two weapons counts.
Mark Santos, 19; and Paul Ashton II, 24, also of Oakhurst, are charged with child endangerment, obstruction, and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. Police allege that the suspects were involved in drug activity with a three- and four-year-old in the house.
Officers responding to the 1400 block of Maple Avenue at 3:04 AM Sunday said that two 17-year-old boys reported being robbed at gunpoint by four men. One victim told Officer Brendan Bernhard that he gave up a cell phone and his sneakers.
Investigations brought members of the Ocean Township PD Criminal Investigations Unit, Deal Police and a Monmouth County Sheriff K9 team to a home on Monmouth Road. Rodriquez and Dean were charged with the robbery.
Detective Sergeant Patrick Martin was attacked and bitten by a dog during the search of the premises. He was given hospital treatment and released, and animal control officers took temporary custody of the dog.
Officers brought in the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency to assume oversight ot the preschoolers.
Police also seized a 1998 Toyota Corolla, pending civil forfeiture proceedings for its alleged use in commission of a crime.
Rodriguez and Dean were remanded to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold. Bail for Rodriguez was set at $230,000, and Dean's was set at $130,000. Santos and Ashton were released on summonses.
Anyone aware of the location of either Blackmon or Reid is urged to send a direct message to Ocean Township police through their Twitter account or Facebook page, or to send an e-mail to their Crime Tips portal.
Ocean Township Police can be reached by phone at 732-531-1800 or 732-531-1428. Information can be left anonymously and confidentially by phone at 732-531-3323.
Ocean Township PD members involved in the investigation and arrests were Officers Kevin Donohoe, Brendan Bernhard, Detective Sergeant Patrick Martin and Detectives Jesse Orbach, Michael Meloldy, and Raheem Carter.