Two New Jersey men used drones to smuggle cell phones and tobacco into Fort Dix
Two men from Jersey City have plead guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to use drones to smuggle in cell phones, tobacco, and other contraband into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Nicolo Denichilo, 40, and Adrian Goolcharran, aka “Adrian Ahoda,” aka “Adrian Ajoda,” aka “Adrian Ajodha,” 37, plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States Bureau of Prisons while their accomplices, Jason Arteaga-Loayza, and Johansel Moronta, previously plead guilty to participating in the scheme.
Arteaga-Loayza also pled guilty to one count of possession of heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute and was sentenced in September of 2021, to 43 months in prison.
Moronta also pled guilty last month to violating the conditions of his supervised release from a previous federal conviction and his sentencing is pending on those charges.
The drone smuggling operation took place at the federal correctional facility between November of 2018 and March of 2020, where Arteaga-Loayza and Moronta were already incarcerated.
They devised a plan to where Denichilo and Goolcharran would use drones to fly in and drop cell phones, cell phone accessories, tobacco, weight loss supplements, eyeglasses, and other items into the facility and then Arteaga-Loayza and Moronta would sell the items and make a profit off of other inmates.
While Arteaga-Loayza and Moronta took care of the scheme inside of the prison, while also collecting inmate requests for specific items of contraband, and overseeing the collection of payments, Denichilo, Goolcharran and others conspirators worked to make sure BOP officials knew anything about their scheme.
Investigators later learned that these drone drops took place late at night or during the overnight hours.
The drones also came in from the woods near the prison with the lights taped up.
In order to plan out the timing of the drops, Arteaga-Loayza and Moronta used cell phones to coordinate with Denichilo and Goolcharran, who as a result of their roles, now face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Denichilo: Paul Condon Esq., Jersey City.
Goolcharran: Brian J. Neary Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey.