Fort Dix

Ex-NJ Inmate Sentenced for Smuggling Contraband into Federal Prison Using Drones

the judge's stand inside a courtroom with a US flag in the background

What to Know

  • A Hudson County man was sentenced to 43 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to use drones to smuggle contraband into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, and for possessing heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute them, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
  • Jason Arteaga-Loayza, aka “Juice,” 30, of Jersey City, New Jersey, a former inmate at Fort Dix, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and one count of possession of heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig.
  • Arteaga-Loayza, who was on federal supervised release at the time of the offenses, also pleaded guilty to violating his supervised release. In addition to the prison term, Arteaga-Loayza was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.

A Hudson County man was sentenced to 43 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to use drones to smuggle contraband into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, and for possessing heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute them, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Jason Arteaga-Loayza, aka “Juice,” 30, of Jersey City, New Jersey, a former inmate at Fort Dix, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and one count of possession of heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig.

Arteaga-Loayza, who was on federal supervised release at the time of the offenses, also pleaded guilty to violating his supervised release. In addition to the prison term, Arteaga-Loayza was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.

U.S. & World

Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.

FDA Authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 Boosters for Seniors, High-Risk

Gabby Petito Family Lawyer Threatens Action Against Laundrie Lawyer Over Pics

Three other men -- Adrian Goolcharran, Nicolo Denichilo, and Johansel Moronta -- also have been charged with using drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix prison. Attorney information for these men was not immediately known.

According to court documents, Arteaga-Loayza, an inmate at Fort Dix from June 2017 to September 2018, participated in multiple drone deliveries of contraband into Fort Dix after his release from prison.

Between October 2018 and June 2019, Arteaga-Loayza arranged for Goolcharran, with Denichilo’s assistance, to fly drones over Fort Dix and drop packages of contraband into the prison, where it was sold to inmates, according to the court documents. The contraband allegedly included cell phones, cell phone accessories, tobacco, weight-loss supplements, eyeglasses, and other items.

Arteaga-Loayza -- with Moronta’s assistance from inside of the prison -- took requests from inmates for contraband items they wanted and oversaw the collection of payments.

Arteaga-Loayza collected contraband for upcoming drone drops and stored it at his residence in Jersey City, federal prosecutors say, citing court documents. 

Arteaga-Loayza and his conspirators used cell phones, including contraband phones concealed within the prison, to coordinate the drone drops, according to court documents.

Additionally, in order to go undetected, Arteaga-Loayza and his conspirators planned drone drops during the late evening hours or at night, when the drones were less likely to be seen as the lights on the drones were covered with tape to make the drones difficult to spot. They flew the drones from concealed positions in the woods surrounding the prison.

During a search of Arteaga-Loayza’s residence in June 2019, agents found packages of empty cell phone boxes, including a package with empty cell phone boxes that had been shipped to Arteaga-Loayza the day before a drone drop on Oct. 30, 2018, cell phone chargers, empty boxes of SIM cards, and several cell phones, prosecutors said. They also found bags of Bugler tobacco, consistent with the Bugler tobacco recovered in earlier drone drops.

Arteaga-Loayza also had a suitcase in his bedroom that contained his driver’s license, 20 packets of a prescription opiate and a plastic bag containing over 21 grams of a substance containing heroin and fentanyl. 

According to prosecutors, following the search of his home, Arteaga-Loayza moved from his home and did not inform his probation officer of his whereabouts.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us