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A Riverhead man is facing robbery and weapon possession charges after displaying a BB gun and threatening an employee at an East Main Street gas station Monday morning, according to Riverhead Town Police.

Police said they were called to the gas station at 7:21 p.m. Monday by an employee who reported a robbery that occurred there at 1:25 a.m. that morning. The complainant told police a man had displayed what appeared to be a handgun and threatened an employee, demanding a tobacco product.

The employee told police he had refused to sell tobacco to the man because the man owed money to the store in connection with a prior incident that occurred in October, according to the press release. After the employee’s refusal, the man displayed what appeared to be a handgun and threatened the employee, demanding the tobacco, police said.

Riverhead detectives investigating the incident on Tuesday arrested Melvin T. Trent, 30, on charges of Robbery in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, according to a police press release issued last night. Police said they recovered the weapon and identified it as a BB gun during the course of their investigation.

A person is guilty of Robbery in the Second Degree when he forcibly steals property and displays what appears to be a firearm, according to N.Y. State Penal Law §160.10. Robbery in the Second Degree is a class C felony.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree is a class A misdemeanor under State Penal Law §265.01.

Trent was held for arraignment in Riverhead Justice Court, police said.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.