A North Jersey man was sentenced to 21 years in prison in a mail-order drug ring with ties to white supremacist organizations in Atlantic City, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury on Friday sentenced Christopher Castelluzzo, 33, of Lake Hopatcong, who pleaded guilty May 24 to a first-degree charge of leading a narcotics trafficking network.
The Attorney General’s Office said the drug network marketed cocaine and designer drugs online and distributed them through the mail.
Castelluzzo was indicted with 11 other alleged ring members and associates in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice called Operation Skin Deep.
The Attorney General’s Office says the operation began when a detective of the Division of Criminal Justice identified people trafficking cocaine while monitoring the activities of white supremacist groups in Atlantic City.
In addition to Castelluzzo, Luke A. Atwell, 37, of Hamilton, Mercer County, who acted as managing partner of the drug ring, was sentenced June 14 to 19 years in prison. Atwell pleaded guilty April 27 to a first-degree charge of leading a narcotics trafficking network.
The third ringleader, Aldo T. Lapaix, 31, of Absecon, was sentenced by DeLury on March 23 to 10 years in prison on charges of racketeering and distribution of cocaine. Detectives said Lapaix helped procure drugs for the ring and handled the packaging and shipping of drugs.
Castelluzzo, Atwell and Lapaix were indicted March 3, 2016, along with nine other men, including seven other alleged ring members and two alleged associates. Six of those ring members have pleaded guilty and received or face prison sentences from five to 10 years.
Castelluzzo and Atwell additionally were sentenced in federal court in 2016 to more than 18 years in prison for operating a separate drug ring.