The New Jersey State Police have arrested Mr. Carlos Castillo, 26, of Mantua Township, for various weapons offenses during an investigation that led to the seizure of a ghost gun, more than a dozen partially assembled ghost guns and firearm manufacturing tools.
Officials said a ghost gun is a firearm that is assembled from various parts that are not imprinted with a serial number and registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, making them difficult for law enforcement to trace.
According to NJ State Police, in January 2022, detectives from the State Police Gangs and Organized Crime South Unit began investigating the distribution of ghost guns in Gloucester County. They determined that Castillo was manufacturing ghost guns out of a residence in Mantua Township.
Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Castillo was obtaining ghost gun kits in Massachusetts and transporting them to his residence, where he would assemble them into working firearms.
According to police, on March 5, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime South Unit, along with members of the State Police Crime Suppression South Unit, Motor Vehicle Crimes South Unit, Atlantic City Metro Task Force, Mantua Township Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed a search warrant at a residence and on a Subaru sedan that Castillo was known to operate.
As a result of the search, detectives seized one fully assembled ghost gun, 16 partially assembled ghost guns, firearm manufacturing tools, and various gun parts to complete all 16 partially assembled firearms.
Police say Castillo was present during the execution of the search warrant and was arrested without incident.
Carlos Castillo was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm with no serial number, unlawful possession of a weapon, and unlawful possession of firearm parts to manufacture a firearm without a serial number.
Carlos Castillo was lodged in the Salem/Gloucester County Jail pending a detention hearing.
This case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.