Ohio police officer admits stealing cocaine from home, then selling it

Ohio police officer admits stealing cocaine from home, then selling it

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Columbus police officer has admitted stealing cocaine while on the job and then selling it, and he now is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio says John Castillo, 31, of Grove City, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Castillo was a police officer assigned to investigate drug crimes in February 2021 when he conspired with another officer to take about 10 kilograms of cocaine from a house in Columbus and did not turn it into evidence. He planted 2 additional kilograms of cocaine for law-enforcement to find at the house, prosecutors say.

Castillo reportedly stored the 10 kilograms of cocaine in another officer’s basement before giving the drugs to another person to sell.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Southern Ohio Public Corruption Task Force, which includes special agents and officers from the FBI, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police.

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