Teen Accused of Plotting a Shooting at a Graduation Ceremony in Plumsted Township
Authorities arrested a 19-year-old accused of plotting to shoot fellow students and staff at a high school graduation ceremony on June 21. Matthew V. Vanderbeek (right) of Upper Freehold Township (Monmouth County) threatened the shooting at New Egypt High School’s graduation in Plumsted Township (Ocean County) and attempted to purchase a gun in order to carry out the attack, prosecutors said. An investigation into the threat on June 19 revealed that Vanderbeek stated his intentions to conduct the shooting on social media. Further investigation after obtaining a search warrant for Vanderbeek’s residence revealed he recently tried to buy a firearm at a gun shop, but he was turned away since he did not have a permit. Vanderbeek is being held at the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing, and he is charged with third-degree terroristic threats with a threat to kill and second-degree attempting to possess a firearm for an unlawful purpose.
Linden Resident Charged After Report of an Explosion in Cranford
A resident of Linden (Union County) faces charges following a report of an explosion in Cranford (Union County) on June 20. Michael Kossup, 26, was identified as the suspect through a review of surveillance video and eyewitness accounts during a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Linden Police Department, and Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau. Authorities served a search warrant the next day on Kossup’s home, where he was arrested, with the assistance of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Union County SWAT Team, the Union County Bomb Squad, the Union County Sheriff’s Department, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Linden police noted there were no injuries. Kossup is charged with possession of a prohibited destructive device, as well as possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Pennsylvania Man Accused of Illegally Possessing Firearms in Storage Unit Arrested in Wildwood
A resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, faces 45 gun-related charges following his arrest in Wildwood (Cape May County) on June 21. Police served a search warrant at the home where 23-year-old Matthew J. Colabella lives after receiving a tip from an eBay seller in California who learned Colabella bought gun parts from various sellers despite being prohibited from possessing firearms. Police noted that is due to an arson conviction as a juvenile. While police did not find firearms at his home, they discovered tools used to create them, a receipt for ammunition, and a rental agreement for a storage unit. Syringes, suspected steroids, and marijuana were also found in his bedroom. A search of the storage unit uncovered a total of 45 firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns—18 of the guns lacking serial numbers—and two of what police described as “grenade-type weapons.” Ammunition, silencers, bulletproof vests, knives, and batons were among other items found in the unit. In an earlier conversation with investigators, Colabella said he did not have guns and was a survivalist stockpiling food and water in the event of a war with North Korea. Colabella is charged with 45 counts of possession of a firearm when prohibited and single counts of receiving stolen property, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is in Cape May County jail pending extradition.