Marlboro pair charged after failed drug deal in Howell


HOWELL – Two residents of Marlboro are facing kidnapping charges following their alleged involvement in an incident in Howell on the evening of April 6.

Police said Moamen Abdelmeguid, 18, of Marlboro, and a juvenile male, 16, of Marlboro, have each been charged with kidnapping, making terroristic threats, burglary, simple assault and drug related offenses.

According to police, Abdelmeguid and the juvenile arrived at the Windmill Club residential development in Howell at about 6:30 p.m. April 6 with the alleged intent to purchase drugs from Joseph Arnold, 19, of Howell.

Abdelmeguid and the juvenile gave Arnold money for drugs, but Arnold took the money and fled the scene on foot without providing the drugs, according to police.

Abdelmeguid and the juvenile went looking for Arnold to obtain the drugs or to get their money back. In doing so, Abdelmeguid and the juvenile went back to a location they believed was Arnold’s house. Police said Arnold had intentionally provided them with a wrong address.

Police said there was a teenage male at that residence who had no relationship to Abdelmeguid, the juvenile or Arnold.

Police said Abdelmeguid and the juvenile grabbed the teenager in a choke hold, forced him into the back of their car against his will and threatened to shoot him if he did not turn over Arnold to them.

Police said the teenager told Abdelmeguid and the juvenile he did not know Arnold, but the suspects drove him around the neighborhood for about five minutes, looking for Arnold.

Abdelmeguid and the juvenile eventually brought the teenager back to his house and forced him to allow them into his home to search for Arnold, who they never located.

Abdelmeguid and the juvenile then left the area. The teenager who had been kidnapped went to police headquarters to report the incident.

Patrolman James Conaty Jr., who was on patrol at the time, conducted a motor vehicle stop on the suspects’ vehicle for suspicious activity, not knowing what had just transpired.

Conaty eventually searched their vehicle and arrested Abdelmeguid and the juvenile for being in possession of drug paraphernalia.

The connection between the suspects and the incident was made after the teenager who had been kidnapped arrived at police headquarters. Police said he did not sustain any injuries.

Following his arrest, Abdelmeguid was placed in the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township. The juvenile was released to his parents, according to police.

Using a description provided by the suspects and following up on an investigation at the scene, Arnold was located by detectives at about midnight and charged with theft and conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez said the officers who arrested Arnold did not find any drugs in his possession at the time of his arrest.

The investigating officers were detectives Robert Ortenzi, Eric Encarnacion and David Gilliland.