Police charged four men who arranged a fake drug deal to rob three people on Bristol Way in East Windsor last week.
Around 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 14 three people went to purchase marijuana in a deal set up by Hightstown resident Joseph Scirocco, 19, and were approached by three men in an SUV, East Windsor police said.
The victims trying to buy drugs ran, but the assailants caught up with one, police said. Four men, including Scirocco, 19-year-olds Michael Rivera, of Hightstown, and Robert Mastellone, of East Windsor, and 20-year-old Herles Martinez, of East Windsor, threatened the man they caught with both a knife and a gun, robbed him of him of his phone and forced him to make his other two friends come back, police said.
After the victims returned, the men attempted to rob them again, but they escaped and called police.
Scirocco was arrested early on Dec. 15 and after an investigation, police issued warrants for Rivera, Mastellone and Martinez, and received a search warrant for Mastellone’s house.
At the house, police said they arrested Mastellone and Rivera, and searched it around 4:45 p.m. on Dec. 15. Money, marijuana and two fake handguns were found and seized, police said.
Martinez was also arrested around 5 p.m. on Dec. 15 in another East Windsor house, according to police.
All four were charged with robbery, theft, weapons offenses, aggravated assault and criminal restraint. Mastellone was also charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
Scirocco’s posted $25,000 bail and Mastellone posted $75,000 bail. As of Friday, Rivera and Martinez had not posted bail, both set at $75,000, and were sent to Mercer County Corrections Center.