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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Hazleton Man Sentenced To 51 Months’ Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking And Firearm Charges

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Carlos Castillo, age 40, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on January 24, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to 51 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a felon.  Because Castillo is not a lawful resident of the United States, he faces deportation to the Dominican Republic and no term of supervised release was imposed.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Castillo previously admitted that in 2019, along with two other individuals, he participated in a drug distribution operation in Hazleton.  Castillo and these individuals used the basement of Castillo’s Hazleton home to prepare bulk amounts of fentanyl for sale and on several occasions that year sold hundreds of bags of fentanyl to others, including undercover informants working with law enforcement.  At the time of a June 2019 search of Castillo’s home, hundreds of grams of bulk fentanyl,  packaging materials that included 70,000 empty bags, and a hand gun were seized.  As a convicted felon, Castillo was prohibited from possessing the handgun.  

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur prosecuted the case.

This case was part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated January 26, 2022