A surveillance operation by members of the Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team resulted in the seizure of a handgun Friday evening.  At approximately 6:08 PM, on May 20, N.E.T. officers setup surveillance in the Route 571 area and observed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Ridgeway Liquors located at 3875 Ridgeway Road.

A subsequent investigation conducted by narcotics officers led police to believe that there was a handgun inside of the vehicle.  The vehicle was towed to Manchester Police headquarters where a Court-authorized search warrant was obtained later that evening.  The search warrant was executed, resulting in the recovery of a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun from within the front passenger compartment of the vehicle.

The driver, 27 year old Robert T. Shope of Heights Terrace, Middletown, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun.  His bail was set at $50,000.00 and he was later transported to Ocean County Jail in default of bail.

Assisting in this investigation were members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Group and the Manchester Police Patrol Bureau.