Charges against one Brick Township man were dropped and complaints against another brought for threats made earlier this week against a local police detective and his family, Ocean County's prosecutor announced Friday.
Connor White, 22, was charged with making the threats along with Anthony Chieffo, 25, after another man was wrongly accused in the case, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.
The detective had received calls and texts threatening him and his family Monday on his department-issued cellphone, Billhimer said.
Detectives from Billhimer’s office quickly identified Chieffo's phone as the source, then arrested him and a companion following a traffic stop in town on Tuesday, the prosecutor said.
They charged both Chieffo and the driver, Alexander Santos, 22, in connection with the threats.
“Although sufficient probable cause existed at the time of his arrest to support the filing of charges against Santos," Billhimer said, "continuing investigation in this matter has revealed that White – not Santos – was the second individual who participated in making the threats against the Brick Detective in concert with Chieffo."
White remained held Friday in the Ocean County Jail pending a hearing in Central Judicial Processing Court in Toms River following his arrest Thursday. He’s charged with retaliating against a witness and three counts of making terroristic threats.
Chieffo continued to be held pending a court appearance on the same charges.
“Meanwhile, "in light of the recent developments regarding this investigation, and in the interests of justice, the charges against Santos have been administratively dismissed,” Billhimer said.
He was released, the prosecutor said.
Billhimer credited his Major Crime and High Tech Crime units and Brick Township police with the investigation leading to the charges.
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