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TRENTON — An Absecon man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for his role as a top member of a drug ring accused of marketing and selling cocaine and designer drugs online, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced.

Aldo T. Lapaix, 31, was sentenced, including eight and a half years of parole ineligibly, by Judge Bernard DeLury in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Lapaix previously pleaded guilty Aug. 28, 2017, to charges of racketeering and distribution of cocaine. The state alleged Lapaix was one of three partners who ran the drug ring and helped with the intake, sale, packaging and shipping of the drugs.

Similar racketeering and drug charges are pending for Lapaix’s alleged partners in the drug ring: Christopher Castelluzzo, 33, of Lake Hopatcong in Sussex County and Luke A. Atwell, 36, of Hamilton in Mercer County, Grewal announced Friday.

Lapaix, Castelluzzo and Atwell were indicted March 3, 2016, along with nine other men, including seven other alleged ring members and two alleged associates. Four of those ring members have pleaded guilty and received or face prison sentences ranging from five to seven years.

The investigation, named “Operation Skin Deep,” began in 2016. Detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice were monitoring the activities of white supremacist groups in Atlantic City, including the sale of cocaine. The investigation exposed a distribution network that used the internet to arrange mail-order sales of cocaine and the designer drug ethylone, a drug similar to the street drugs methylone and ecstasy. Other alleged members and associates of the ring were charged during the investigation.

Authorities seized nearly $1.5 million in cash believed to be from the sale of drugs, gold bars, diamond jewelry, firearm silencers, ammunition, and cocaine testing, cutting and packaging materials during several executed search warrants.

Contact: 609-272-7286 LCarroll@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPress_LC

Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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