TRENTON, N.J. — Two New Jersey men were convicted in federal court Friday for their roles in a drug conspiracy involving the sale of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and methylone.
These convictions resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Luke Atwell, 34, of Hamilton, New Jersey, and Christopher Castelluzzo, 30, of Bayonne, New Jersey, were convicted on one count each of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute methylone, cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana.
According to court documents, Atwell and Castelluzzo were partners in the conspiracy, which spanned 29 months. In March 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted an investigation resulting in the seizure of more than six kilograms of methylone at a drug mill in East Orange, New Jersey, that was tied to Atwell and Castelluzzo. About a month later, in April 2013, HSI special agents seized 2.9 kilograms of methylone that Atwell intended to pick up at the U.S. Post Office in Manville, New Jersey. Agents replaced that package with a dummy package, which Atwell then picked up and placed in the car he and Castelluzzo were using at the time.
They were arrested immediately after Atwell entered the vehicle. Following the arrest authorities searched various electronic devices of the defendants and uncovered email communications establishing a drug distribution conspiracy dating back to 2010.
Atwell and Castelluzzo each face a maximum potential penalty of twenty years in prison. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Sept. 3, 2015.