MAY 14 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found Wilner Castelin, also known as “Castro,” 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., guilty of narcotics and money laundering charges stemming from his role in an oxycodone trafficking ring. The trial before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall began on May 7 and the jury returned the verdict yesterday.
This matter stems from “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force into the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut. The investigation revealed that an individual regularly purchased oxycodone from suppliers in Florida, transported the oxycodone to Connecticut by commercial airline or automobile, and sold the pills for profit to various Connecticut-based narcotics dealers. He then transported the proceeds of his oxycodone sales from Connecticut to Florida, either by having a courier drive the money or by using commercial airline flights.
The evidence at trial revealed that the narcotics trafficker met David Gaudiosi and Bruce Yazdzik, two large-scale oxycodone distributors in Connecticut, in early 2010. After the meeting, Gaudiosi and Yazdzik visited the narcotics trafficker in Florida on multiple occasions to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone from unscrupulous pain clinics, commonly referred to as “pill mills.” The trafficker paid Castelin to chauffeur Gaudiosi and Yazdzik during their Florida visits. Castelin subsequently agreed to travel to the northeastern U.S. to drive large amounts of U.S. currency, which were proceeds of the narcotics trafficker’s oxycodone sales in Connecticut, to Florida. Castelin was paid approximately $1,000 to $1,250 for each trip.
The jury found Castelin guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for August 20, 2013, at which time Castelin faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.
Castelin was arrested on September 13, 2011, and has been released on bond since February 28, 2012.
Twenty individuals, including two law enforcement officers and three Transportation Security Agency officers, have been charged as a result of this investigation.
Gaudiosi and Yazdzik each pleaded guilty to oxycodone trafficking charges. On November 14, 2012, Yazdzik was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment. Gaudiosi awaits sentencing.
This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, which includes personnel from the Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford and Westport Police Departments; the Drug Enforcement Administration in Florida and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. In addition, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Greenwich, Monroe, Danbury and Waterbury Police Departments have assisted the investigation.