Joseph Neglia and David Stoia Jr. Charged with Robbery and Conspiracy by Fairfield Police
Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 10:26pm
FAIRFIELD, NJ - Joseph Neglia of Fairfield, a 2009 graduate of West Essex High School, was arrested this week along with former Fairfield resident, David Stoia Jr. The 21 years old men were both charged by the Fairfield Police Department with Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery.
Police report that on Saturday evening around 8pm, the two men were apparently at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne and approached a 16 years old male, a stranger to both of them, asking if he wanted to buy marijuana. The teen agreed and according to police followed the two to a car where they drove him to a home on Little Falls Road in Fairfield where it is said Stoia once resided.
David Stoia Jr. Credit: Fairfield Police Department
Once at the house, again according to police, the teen apparently paid the two for the marijuana. Police state that Stoia and Neglia then went to the back of the home and came back with a bag that they placed in the trunk. The two got back in the car with the 16 years old and then drove to another street and opened the trunk.
Allegedly, Neglia got out of the car and told the teen to get out and retrieve the bag of marijuana from the trunk. According to police, as the teen went to do this, he left behind in the backseat his Blackberry tablet, a backpack and $60 in cash. Neglia jumped back into the car which then started to drive away. In an apparent attempt to stay with his belongings.Before they were able to leave, the teen jumped into the trunk which then closed on top of him,
Neglia and Stoia apparently then stopped the car and opened the trunk. Police allege that Neglia grabbed the teen out of the trunk, threw him to the ground and punched him in the face.
Once again, the car sped away, this time apparently with the teen’s belongings still inside. It was at this point that the teen called the police and was able to provide them with a description of the 1994 black Honda and a partial license plate.
Officer R.J. Casendino was alerted to a description of the car and its drivers. Near the Jack's Friendly Sunoco station, on W. Greenbrook Road and Passaic Avenue, he soon came upon the Honda and saw that the partial license plate matched the description. When Casendino stopped the vehicle, Stoia was the only one inside and the officer noticed that Stoia was apparently wearing a shirt that matched the description provided by the victim and also that items in the rear seat of the vehicle matched the missing items.
Casendino determined that Stoia was operating the vehicle while under the influence; he was arrested and charged with DWI and the car was impounded. Police report that to their knowledge there never was marijuana in the bag in the trunk.
Afterwards, Detective Sergeant Charles Zampino and Detective Robert Sanger conducted a follow-up investigation which ultimately resulted in Stoia also being charged with Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and an arrest warrant being issued for Neglia. Stoia was released after posting bail and Neglia surrendered to the police on Wednesday, and also was released on bail.
Robbery (NJ Statute 2C:15-1) is much more serious in New Jersey than Theft. Robbery is considered aggravated theft and in this case was charged in the second degree because while allegedly committing theft, the persons inflicted bodily injury on the victim. Conspiracy to commit robbery (NJ Statute 2C:5-2) is charged in this case because the two persons apparently engaged in planning to commit the crime.
As set forth in NJ’s Code of Criminal Justice, the charges of second degree robbery carry with them very serious penalties for those found guilty:
5 to 10 years in jail
Because robbery by definition is a violent crime, it qualifies for New Jersey's “No Early Release Act” (NERA). Those convicted of robbery must serve at least 85 percent of their minimum jail term before eligibility for release on parole.
- $15,000 to $150,000 fine
Conspiracy is a charge that holds with it penalties equal to those of the crime originally charged. So in this case, the above penalties could all be added during sentencing of someone convicted. Most likely, however fines would be substantially lowered and any jail time would be served concurrently.
Both Neglia and Stoia will appear at the Superior Court in Newark for their initial court appearance on Friday, March 22.
Fairfield Police Deputy Chief Anthony Manna released this statement:
The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of David Stoia Jr. (21) of Totowa, N.J. and Joseph Neglia (21) of Fairfield, N.J. for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
The incident that led to the charges started on the evening of March 2, 2013 at approximately 8:00 P.M. at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. It is alleged that is when the 16 year old victim of the robbery, was approached by the pair and asked if he wanted to purchase marijuana. The victim allegedly agreed to accompany the pair to another location for the purpose of purchasing the marijuana. The victim allegedly got into a 1994 black Honda and was driven to a residence on Little Falls Road in Fairfield where Stoia apparently once lived.
Stoia and Neglia then went around the back of the residence and allegedly emerged with a bag that they placed in the trunk. They then drove to a nearby side street and opened the trunk and Neglia allegedly got out and told the victim to get the bag with the marijuana. When the victim went to do this, Neglia got back into the car and the vehicle started to drive off. The victim then jumped into the truck which closed on top of him. A short time later, the vehicle stopped and the trunk was again opened. It is alleged that Neglia then grabbed the victim, threw him to the ground and punched him in the face. The vehicle then sped away with the victim’s Blackberry tablet, backpack and $60.00 in cash. The victim then contacted the police. The victim was able to provide police with a description of the car and a partial license plate.
In the early morning hours of March 3, 2013, Officer R.J. Casendino was on patrol near the A Plus Sunoco station, located at the intersection of Greenbrook Road and Passaic Avenue when he came upon a 1994 black Honda Civic that fit the description and which had a license plate with the partial characters that had been provided by the victim. Officer Casendino stopped the vehicle and found the lone driver to be Stoia. The officer noticed that Stoia was allegedly wearing a shirt that matched the description provided by the victim. The officer also allegedly noticed other items in the rear seat of the vehicle that led him to believe that this was the vehicle involved in the earlier robbery.
During the course of this investigation, Officer Casendino determined that probable cause existed to believe that Stoia was operating his vehicle while under the influence. He was then arrested and the vehicle was impounded. Detective Sergeant Charles Zampino and Det. Robert Sanger conducted a follow up investigation which ultimately resulted in Stoia being charged with robbery and conspiracy. It also resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for Neglia for the same charges.
Stoia was released on his own recognizance with an initial court appearance date of March 22, 2013 in the Superior Court in Newark, N.J. Neglia surrendered to authorities on March 5, 2013 and was also released on his own recognizance with the same court date.
(It should be noted that the charges against both are merely allegations and that both are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law).