By Associated Press - Saturday, April 8, 2017

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Two teenagers allegedly ripped off by a purported drug dealer kidnapped someone they mistakenly thought was connected to the dealer, according to authorities.

Moamem Abdelmeguid, 18, and a 16-year-old boy, both of Marlboro, met up Thursday night with Joseph Arnold to buy drugs from him in a Howell neighborhood, Howell police said. But Arnold allegedly took their cash and fled without giving them anything.

The Marlboro teens then went to a nearby home where Arnold had falsely claimed to live and soon subdued another male teen they found there, mistakenly believing he knew Arnold. They forced the teen into a car and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t disclose Arnold’s whereabouts.

They drove the teen around the neighborhood for a few minutes, looking for Arnold, then took the teen home and eventually drove away after not finding Arnold at the home.

The victim, who authorities said had no relationship with any of the people involved, was unharmed and immediately notified police. Around that time, Howell police arrested the two Marlboro teens after an unrelated traffic stop. They were later linked to the kidnapping.

Abdelmeguid and the 16-year-old juvenile were both charged with kidnapping, terroristic threats, burglary and drug offenses. Arnold, who lives in Howell, was charged with theft and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

Telephone numbers for the three teens could not be located Saturday. It wasn’t known if any of them have retained attorneys.

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